Elmer Stephen Kelton
Kelton at the 2007 Texas Book Festival
|Born||April 29, 1926|
Five Wells Ranch, Andrews County, Texas, US
|Died||August 22, 2009 (aged 83)|
San Angelo, Texas
|Alma mater||University of Texas at Austin|
|Spouse||Anna (née Lipp) Kelton|
Kelton was born at a place called Horse Camp on the Five Wells Ranch, owned by the Scharbauer Cattle Company, in Andrews County -- just east of the city of Andrews, Texas. His parents were Robert William "Buck" Kelton- (30 June 1901 – 15 June 1980) and Neta Beatrice "Bea" (née Parker). 15 May 1904 – 27 April 1993) Kelton.
When Kelton was three years old, his family moved to the McElroy Ranch located in the counties of Crane and Upton, Texas, near the city of Crane, south-southwest of Midland. He spent the rest of his childhood at three different homesteads on the McElroy Ranch, where his father was employed for 36 years.
After graduation from Crane High School, Kelton attended the University of Texas at Austin, in 1942–1944 and again from 1946-1948, when he earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism. From 1944 to 1946, Kelton had served in the U.S. Army, with combat infantry experience in Europe during World War II.
From 1948-1963, Kelton was the farm-and-ranch editor for the San Angelo Standard-Times in the Harte-Hanks chain. For five years, he was editor of Sheep and Goat Raiser Magazine and another 22 years he was editor of Livestock Weekly, from which he retired in 1990.
His memoir, Sandhills Boy, was published in 2007.
Three of his novels have been featured in Reader's Digest Condensed Books.
Eight Kelton novels, Buffalo Wagons, The Day the Cowboys Quit, The Time It Never Rained, Eyes of the Hawk, Slaughter, The Far Canyon, Many a River, and The Way of the Coyote, have won Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America. Peers in the WWA also named him as the greatest Western writer of all time.
Three other novels, City: The Time It Never Rained, The Good Old Boys, and The Man Who Rode Midnight, have received Western Heritage Awards from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
In 1977, Kelton received an Owen Wister Award for lifetime achievement (named for Owen Wister, the author of The Virginian). In April 1997, the Texas State Legislature proclaimed "Elmer Kelton Day". In 1998, he received the first Lone Star Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Larry McMurtry Center for Arts and Humanities at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls.
Kelton received honorary doctorates from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene and Texas Tech University at Lubbock. Kelton also received a lifetime achievement award from the National Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock. He is honored with a star in the sidewalk at the Fort Worth Stockyards in Fort Worth.
Kelton was married to Anni Lipp, a native of Austria. They had three children. One son, Gerhard (also known as "Gary") of Plainview, is Anni's son who was adopted by Kelton. The other son and a daughter are Steve Kelton and Kathy Kelton, both of San Angelo. He also had three brothers, Merle Kelton and his wife, Ann, of May, Texas; Bill Kelton and his wife, Pat, of Atlanta, Texas; and Eugene Kelton and his wife, Peggy, of McCamey, Texas.
Kelton was working on another book, but was facing several health problems in early 2009. The book had not been completed before he died on August 22, 2009, from natural causes.[clarification needed]
Beginning in 2014, the Academy of Western Artists, based in Gene Autry, Oklahoma, awarded the first of its annual Elmer Kelton book awards to successful authors in the categories of fiction and nonfiction. The runner-up was Kelton's understudy Patrick Dearen of Midland, for his 2012 novel To Hell or the Pecos.
|1957||Spur Award||Novel||Buffalo Wagons|
|1971||Spur Award||Novel||The Day the Cowboys Quit|
|1973||Spur Award||Novel||The Time It Never Rained|
|1974||Western Heritage Award||Western Novel||The Time It Never Rained|
|1977||Owen Wister Award||Western literature||Lifetime achievement|
|1979||Western Heritage Award||Western Novel||The Good Old Boys|
|1981||Spur Award||Novel||Eyes of the Hawk|
|1988||Western Heritage Award||Western Novel||The Man Who Rode Midnight|
|1992||Spur Award||Novel of the West||Slaughter|
|1994||Spur Award||Novel of the West||The Far Canyon|
|2002||Spur Award||Best Western Novel||Way of the Coyote|
|2009||Spur Award||Novel||Many A River|
|2010 (posthumously)||American Cowboy Culture Association||Fictional works||Lifetime achievement|
Partial list of works:
Texas Ranger Novels: