Kjell Hallbing

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Hallbing in 1973

Kjell Hallbing (5 November 1934, in Bærum – 6 May 2004, in Tønsberg) was a Norwegian author of Western books.

Under the pseudonym Louis Masterson, he wrote a series of books about the fictitious Texas Ranger (later U.S. Marshal) Morgan Kane during 1966–1978. The 83 Morgan Kane books have sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.[1] Masterson's books 'El Gringo' and 'El Gringo's Revenge' will be the basis of a Hollywood movie in 2017.[2] He has also written another nine book series known as the Diablo- and Diablito books.

Earlier in his career Hallbing used the pseudonyms Ward Cameron, Leo Manning, Lee Morgan and Colin Hawkins. His debut "Ubåt-kontakt" was released in 1961, written under his real name. The same year he released his first book set in the old West, "Portrett av en revolvermann" ("Portrait of a gunslinger"). In addition Kjell Hallbing was an eager weapon collector, resulting in his collection being one of the biggest privately owned weapon collections in Norway at the time of his death. He also owned a little house at Bolkesjø, where he actually wrote most of the books in the Morgan Kane series.

Other "heroes" Hallbing/Masterson wrote about, were Jesse Rawlins, Owen Metzgar and Clay Allison.

Before he started to write full-time in 1969, Hallbing worked as a bank employee. He is buried at Oslo Western Civil Cemetery.

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