Harold Verne Keith (1903 – 24 February 1998) was a Newbery Medal-winning American author. Keith was born and raised in Oklahoma, where he also lived and died. The state was his abiding passion and he used Oklahoma as the setting for most of his books,
Harold Keith was born in 1903 in Lambert, Oklahoma Territory. He attended Northwestern State Teachers College and the University of Oklahoma, where he earned a Masters Degree in history, and was also sports editor for the student newspaper. During the work for his master's thesis he interviewed 22 veterans of the Civil War who lived in the area. From 1922 to 1923, he was a teacher in the Aorita Consolidated School System. Keith served as the University of Oklahoma Sports Publicity Director from 1930 to 1969. He had a continuing interest in long-distance running. He died in Norman, Oklahoma of congestive heart failure on the 24 February 1998. He won the 1958 Newbery Medal for his historical novel Rifles for Watie, which is based on the interviews he did for his Master's thesis. Rifles for Watie also won the 1964 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award.