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Tony Hellerman dead

 
 
Reply Mon 27 Oct, 2008 08:27 am
Tony Hillerman, an award-winning American author and journalist who called New Mexico home, died Sunday at the age of 83.

Hillerman was born in Sacred Heart, Oklahoma on May 27, 1925. After returning from the European Theater a decorated World War II veteran, he worked as a journalist between 1948 to 1962.

He taught journalism from 1966 to 1987 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Hillerman was also a noted fiction writer whose novels, like Skinwalker (1986) and A Thief of Time (1988) were adapted for television.

In 1996, Hillerman was ranked New Mexico's 22nd wealthiest man.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 2,994 • Replies: 8
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Oct, 2008 08:33 am
My wife liked his work. I liked his use of the "retired" cop , Joe Leaphorn as a presence in his books. Did he make his money from his novels?
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Oct, 2008 08:37 am
@dyslexia,
Aw. I really enjoyed his books in the early 90's or so. Then I read some Sherman Alexie that had me second-guessing (Alexie made a Hillerman clone the villain in one of his books). But I did enjoy them, and there were some good characters.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Oct, 2008 08:38 am
@farmerman,
Longtime friend Lew Thompson was among the first to recognize Hillerman's talents. Both attended the University of Oklahoma, and Hillerman succeeded Thompson as editor of the school's humor newspaper. "I knew Tony was a winner all the way," he said. "I had a (limited) budget, and he was one of the writers I recruited because he was one hell of a storyteller."

Hillerman worked at newspapers in Oklahoma and Texas before coming to Santa Fe, where Thompson later joined him.

"I went into the advertising business and worked for The New Mexican," Thompson said. "Tony's the one who got me into Santa Fe. He'd say, 'Come on, let's get smart. Join me in paradise,' and I did."

Throughout the years, the two friends trekked to Las Vegas, Nev., dozens of times to play poker, most recently a couple years ago. Thompson said he went to win, while Hillerman, trying to break from some of the reclusiveness that writing brings, enjoyed socializing. "I went there to enjoy the discipline of poker; it's a quiet game and it's a an absorbing thing, and if you play it well, you win some money," Thompson said. "He went there to be with people and have fun. ... He played well, but I could never get him away from the table a winner."
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Oct, 2008 08:39 am
@sozobe,
yeah Sherman Alexie is among my favs.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Oct, 2008 09:01 am
My very first paying job on a newspaper was as a temporary employee on the Santa Fe New Mexican and Tony Hillerman was my managing editor at the time. He gave me my very first assignment as an official professional reporter. He was a typical newspaper guy--a bit crusty even as a young man, but funny and pretty easy going though I never knew him personally other than on a very cursory basis. I do have all of his books, I believe. He will be missed.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Oct, 2008 11:33 am
Aw, hell! No, I hadn't heard. I will surely miss Joe Leaphorn and the rest of the Navajo Tribal Police crew.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Oct, 2008 05:17 pm
@Merry Andrew,
I'll miss them too. Loved to rip through his books.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Oct, 2008 05:27 pm
@littlek,
Governor has flags lowered for Hillerman ---
http://kob.com/article/stories/S635045.shtml?cat=519

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