Owen Wister, 1860 - 1938
Owen Wister, from an
edition of "The Virginian"
Owen Wister was born on July 14, 1860 to Owen Jones Wister and Sarah Butler Wister, the daughter of actress Fanny Kemble. He briefly attended schools in Switzerland and Britain, and later studied at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire and Harvard University, where he was a classmate and friend of Theodore Roosevelt. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1888, he practiced with a Philadelphia firm but the career never interested him greatly.
Like Teddy Roosevelt, Wister was fascinated with the culture of the American West and began a writing career which was heavily influenced by the region. His 1902 novel, The Virginian is widely regarded as the first example of the cowboy novel.
In 1898, Owen married his cousin Mary Channing, and they had six children. Owen Wister died on July 21, 1938.