Harvey Fergusson

Active - 1937 - 1939  |   Genres - Drama, Action, Western

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Harvey Fergusson was an American journalist-turned-author whose life took him from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Washington, D.C., and then to California and the movie industry. His books encompassed both fiction and non-fiction, both of which were frequently focused on the American west and the history behind the mythology. He attended Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and took a job as a reporter for the Washington, D.C. Herald shortly after graduating in 1911. He wrote for newspapers across the south, including Savannah, Georgia and Richmond, Virginia, before joining the Washington bureau of the Chicago Record-Herald. Fergusson continued in journalism until 1923, when he left it behind to write books, and he drew attention to himself with his second novel, Capitol Hill (1923), which was based on his own experiences and those of the people around him, telling the story of a newspaperman goes into public relations and lobbying. For all that this book revealed about the world in which he worked, Fergusson attracted more notice from the public at large for his first novel, The Blood of the Conquerors, a work of historical fiction set in early New Mexico, which ultimately became part of a trilogy called Followers of the Sun, comprised of that book, Wolf Song (1927), and In Those Days (1929). Wolf Song became the basis for the 1929 movie of the same name starring Gary Cooper and Lupe Velez, while his novel Hot Saturday was turned into a movie of the same title in 1932, starring Nancy Carroll, Cary Grant, and Randolph Scott. Ironically, the publication of Wolf Song -- which was regarded as Fergusson's best book -- coincided with the most tragic year of his life, as he married for the second time, only to lose his wife to pneumonia that same year. Fergusson resided in Hollywood for a time and worked on some screenplays, including those for the films It Happened in Hollywood (1937) and Stand Up and Fight (1939), but he preferred literary fiction. He resided in Berkeley, California for the last quarter century of his life, where he returned to non-fiction, specifically politics as a subject for his last published works. Fergusson died in 1971, at the age of 81.