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Monday, January 31, 2022

'Expression of Life'


“I arise full of eagerness and energy, knowing well what achievement lies ahead of me.” – Zane Grey

Best known for his popular novels of the Old West, Grey idealized the American frontier.  His 1912 best seller Riders of the Purple Sage was the highlight of an amazing 90 books in the genre, many of which had second lives and continuing influence when adapted as films and television productions. Overall, his novels and short stories have been adapted into 112 films, two television episodes, and a television series, The Zane Grey Theater.

Born on this day in 1872, Grey grew up in Zanesville, Ohio, a city founded by his maternal great-grandfather Ebenezer Zane, an American Revolutionary War patriot.  From an early age he was intrigued by history and even though he first chose dentistry for a career, he gravitated to writing about history and the American West.   

He wrote some 9 million words in his lifetime (besides his Westerns, he wrote 2 hunting books, 6 children’s books, 3 baseball books, and 8 fishing books).   His total book sales – which made him a millionaire many times over – have been over 40 million.

A great athlete (he was a star baseball player in college and as a minor league player) and a frequent brawler as a young man, his writing depicting both athleticism and fistfights were often cited by his readers when talking about the "realism" in his books.  

“Well, what is writing,” he responded,  “but an expression of my own life?”



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