Luke Short (writer)

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Luke Short (born Frederick Dilley Glidden November 19, 1908 – August 18, 1975) was a popular Western writer.

Born in Kewanee, Illinois, he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for two and a half years and then transferred to the University of Missouri at Columbia to study journalism. Following graduation in 1930 he worked for a number of newspapers before becoming a trapper in Canada then later moved to New Mexico to be an archeologist's assistant. After reading Western pulp magazines and trying to escape unemployment he began to write Western fiction. He sold his first short story and novel in 1935 under the pen name of Luke Short (which was also the name of a famous gunslinger in the Old West, although it's unclear if he was aware of that when he assumed the pen name.) His apprenticeship in the pulps was comparatively brief. In 1938 he sold a short story, The Warning, to Collier's and in 1941 he sold his novel Blood on the Moon, aka Gunman's Chance to The Saturday Evening Post.[1]

After publishing over a dozen novels in the 1930s, he started writing for films in the 40s. In 1948 alone four Luke Short novels appeared as movies. Some of his memorable film credits includes Ramrod (1947) and Blood on the Moon (1948). His novel, The Whip, aka Doom Cliff, was serialized in both Collier's and The Saturday Evening Post. The first two parts were published in Collier's in the December 21, 1956 and the January 4, 1957 issues. Collier's then ceased publication. The Saturday Evening Post bought the rights to the remaining unpublished installment and published it on February 9, 1957.[2] Short continued to write novels, despite increasing trouble with his vision, until his death in 1975. His ashes are buried in Aspen, Colorado, his home at the time of his death.[citation needed]


Short Story Collections[edit]

  • Luke Short's Best of the West, 1983 includes 12 short stories "Pull Your Freight!" -- "Gunslick Gold" -- "Lead Won’t Lie" -- "The Warning" -- "Bounty Hunter" -- "The Doctor Keeps a Promise" --"High Grade" -- "Trumpets West" -- "Court Day" -- "Payoff at Rain Peak" -- "Rough Shod" -- "Top Hand."
  • The Marshal of Vengeance, 1986 includes six short stories "The Marshal of Vengeance" -- "The Ghost Deputy of Doubletree" -- "Death Cold-Decks a Tinhorn" -- "War Fires Light the Stage Trails" -- "Hideout" -- "Exile"

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ [1],; accessed March 18, 2014.
  2. ^ Guide to the Frederick D. Glidden Papers 1933-1976, accessed March 18, 2014.