Author and Screenwriter Larry McMurtry Dies at Age 84

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“Lonesome Dove” author, store owner, and “Brokeback Mountain” screenwriter, Larry McMurtry, passed away at the age of 84. According to NBC News, a spokesperson for the family announced the news on Thursday, March 25, 2021. Amanda Lundberg confirmed the author died from heart failure. He was surrounded by his loved ones in his Texas home at the time.

McMurtry was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, on June 3, 1936. For most of his life, he resided in Archer City, Texas — located two hours northwest of Dallas. His father — William Jefferson McMurtry — was a rancher. He attended what is now the University of North Texas. He received a master’s degree in English from Rice University.

He taught English at George Mason University and Rice University. From 1963 to 1969 he lectured English at Rice University.

McMurtryAt the age of 25, he wrote his first novel — “Horseman, Pass By” — which later inspired the movie “Hud.”

In 1985 he wrote the novel “Lonesome Dove.” Many imposters rose to the surface in 1989 after the novel became successful. In 1986, McMurtry won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for writing “Lonesome Dove.” The novel was later adapted into a TV miniseries starring Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Duvall, Diane Lane, and Danny Glover.

Throughout his career, he wrote almost 50 books, including screenplays, essay collections, memoirs, and novels that were mainly set in the West. A number of his early works became featured films. Such as the Oscar-winning films “The Last Picture Show” and “Terms of Endearment.”

McMurtry also owned several bookstores in a couple of different states — Texas, Arizona, and Washington, D.C. One of the bookstores he owned is in his hometown Archer City. This store — Booked Up Inc. — holds around 300,000 volumes of used and rare books within its span of four buildings.

He is survived by his wife, Norma Faye McMurtry, son, James, and grandson, Curtis. Many other family members and friends are grieving the writer’s death.

Written by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

NBC News: Larry McMurtry, ‘Lonesome Dove’ author and ‘Brokeback Mountain’ screenwriter, dies at 84; by Wilson Wong and Diana Dasrath

IMDb: Larry McMurtry

Featured Image Courtesy of Albert Mock’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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