Author Louis L’Amour

Louis L'Amour - well-known Western Genre author
  • Louis Dearborn LaMoore was born in Jamestown, North Dakota, on March 12, 1908, and was the 7th of seven children of Dr. Louis Charles LaMoore.
  • His father was a large animal vet, local politician, and farm equipment broker.
  • Louis’ dad arrived in the Dakota Territory in 1882.
  • He spent much of his free time as a kid at the Dickey Free Library reading G.A. Henty and his historical boys’ novels.
  • The LaMoore family moved in 1923 and spent time working various jobs including skinning cattle in west Texas, baling hay in New Mexico, working the mines in Arizona, and the lumber camps in the Pacific Northwest.
  • L’Amour worked at various times as a mine assessment worker, a professional boxer, and as a merchant seaman.
  • During his life he visited all the western states, plus England, Japan, China, Borneo, the Dutch East Indies, Arabia, Egypt, and Panama. 
  • In the early 1930’s, Louis changed his name to Louis L’Amour and started to pursue a writing career.
  • He only wrote one Western-genre story before WWII, “The Town No Guns Could Tame.”
  • During WWII, L’Amour served in the US Army as a lieutenant with the 362nd Quartermaster Truck Company.
  • L’Amour wrote under the pen names “Jim Mayo” and “Tex Burns.”
  • He wrote in a “stream of consciousness” style, so did not plan what was going to happen next in any of his writings.
  • L’Amour’s first novel published under his own name was “Westward the Tide” in 1951.
  • John Wayne purchased the screen rights for the short story “The Gift of Cochise” in 1952 for $4,000 and the 1953 film “Hondo” was the result.
  • Louis married aspiring actress Katherine Adams in 1956, and they had two children.
  • The couple traveled together to research locations for Louis’ books.
  • L’Amour wrote three to four novels per year in the 1950’s and 60’s, but had to work with more than one publisher due to publisher restrictions of one or two books per year by the same author. Thus, he published with both Bantam Books and Gold Medal.
  • He wrote 100 novels and over 250 short stories, with over 320 million copies of his work sold.
  • L’Amour attempted to build a working western town called “Shalako” in the 1960’s, but he could not find the funding.
  • At the time of his death, nearly all of his over 100 works were still in print.
  • Louis died from lung cancer June 10, 1988, at his home in LA. He was editing his memoir, “Education of a Wandering Man” from his bedroom on the day he died.
Louis Singapore
L'Amour in Singapore
Louis and Kathy
Louis and wife Kathy who married in 1956