Elmer Kelton was born on April 29, 1926 in west Texas. He earned a degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and served in Europe during World War II. He worked as a livestock and farm writer for The San Angelo Standard-Times and later as an editor for the specialized publications Sheep and Goat Raiser magazine and Livestock Weekly while writing part-time. He wrote more than 60 books which earned him numerous awards and recognitions. He won the Spur award from Western Writers of America six times for his titles Buffalo Wagons, The Day the Cowboys Quit, The Time It Never Rained, Eye of the Hawk, Slaughter, and The Far Canyon. Four of his titles have won the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City. In addition, he received the Barbara McCombs/Lon Tinkle Award and the Levi Strauss Golden Saddleman Award from the Western Writers of America. His title The Good Old Boys was made into a television movie in 1995. Kelton also wrote under the pseudonyms Alex Hawk, Lee McElroy and Tom Early. He died on August 22, 2009 at the age of 83.