Jack Schaefer

Jack Warner Schaefer (November 19, 1907 – January 1991) was an American writer known for his Westerns. His best-known work is Shane, which was made into the film Shane, and the short story "Stubby Pringle's Christmas" (1964).


Jack Schaefer was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and was the son of a German American attorney. In 1929 he graduated from Oberlin College with a major in English. From 1929-1930 he attended graduate school at Columbia University, but left without completing his Master of Arts degree. He then went to work for the United Press. In his long career as a journalist, he would hold editorial positions at many eastern publications.

Schaefer's first success as a novelist came in 1946 with his novel Shane, set in Wyoming. Though Schaefer himself had never been in the western United States, he continued writing westerns, selling his house in Connecticut and moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1955 with his second wife, Louise. They resided in an old adobe home at 905 Camino Ranchitos, just off of Canyon Rd.

In 1975 Schaefer received the Western Literature Association's Distinguished Achievement award.

He died of heart failure in Santa Fe in 1991. Schaefer was married twice, his second wife moving to Santa Fe with him.

Schaefer's novel Monte Walsh was made into a movie in 1970, with Lee Marvin in the title role, and again in 2003 as a TV movie starring Tom Selleck. Shane was also made into a movie and a series.


  • Shane (1949)
  • First Bite (1953)
  • The Big Range (1953) (short stories)
  • The Canyon(1953)
  • The Piors(1984) (short stories)
  • Out West: An Anthology of Stories (1955) (Editor)
  • Company of Heroes (1957)
  • The Kean Land and Other Stories (1959)
  • Old Ramon (1960)
  • Tales from the West (1961)
  • Incident on the Trail (1962)
  • The Plainsmen (1963) (children's book)
  • Monte Walsh (1963)
  • The Great Endurance Horse Race: 600 Miles on a Single Mount, 1908, from Evanston, Wyoming, to Denver (1963)
  • Shane and other stories (1963) (publ. Andre Deutsch, London)
  • Stubby Pringle's Christmas (1964) (children's book)
  • Heroes without Glory: Some Goodmen of the Old West (1965)
  • Collected Stories (1966)
  • Adolphe Francis Alphonse Bandelier (1966)
  • New Mexico (1967 )
  • The Short Novels of Jack Schaefer (1967)
  • Mavericks (1967) (children's book)
  • Hal West: Western Gallery (1971)
  • An American Bestiary (1973)
  • Conversations with a Pocket Gopher and Other Outspoken Neighbors (1978)
  • Jack Schaefer and the American West: Eight Stories (1978) (edited by C.E.J. Smith)
  • The Collected Stories of Jack Schaefer (1985)

See also

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