Wister, Owen(wĭs`tər), 1860–1938, American author, b. Philadelphia, grad. Harvard (B.A., 1882; LL.B., 1888). Trips to the West for his health gave him material for his short stories and for his greatest success, The Virginian (1902), a novel about Wyoming cowhands. He wrote several biographies, including one in 1930 on his friend Theodore Roosevelt. His other books include the novel Lady Baltimore (1906) and the short stories "Lin McLean" (1898) and "Jimmyjohn Boss" (1900). His collected works, in 11 volumes, appeared in 1928. The journals of his Western travels from 1885 to 1895 were published in 1958 as Owen Wister Out West.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
Wister, Owen(1860–1938) writer; born in Germantown, Pa. He graduated from Harvard (1882) before studying music composition in Paris (1882–84). Suffering from ill health, he spent summers in the American West, and these visits profoundly affected his future writing. He studied law at Harvard (1885–88), and settled in Philadelphia, where he practiced law. By 1891 he devoted himself to writing biographies, essays, and novels. He is remembered for his Western novels, notably The Virginian (1902), a book containing the prototype of the American cowboy in subsequent fictions and films.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.