By: Mead Oliver, Sid Ortis, Jack Baron, and Tillman Richie
Conrad Richter was an American short-story writer and novelist known for his lyrical fiction about early America. As a young man, Richter did odd jobs and at age 19 became the editor of the Patton (Pennsylvania) Courier. He then worked as a reporter and founded a juvenile magazine that he paid before moving to New Mexico in 1928. In an era when many American writers immersed themselves in European culture, Richter was fascinated with American history, and he spent years researching frontier life. Over the course of his life, one of his novels won the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and another 1961 National Book Award for Fiction.