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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Alfred Bertram ("Bud") Guthrie, Jr., journalist and novelist, was born January 13, 1901, in Bedford, Indiana, the son of Alfred and June (Thomas) Guthrie. Soon thereafter the family moved to Choteau, Montana, where his father taught school. Guthrie grew up on the Montana frontier, where memories of Indians, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and cowboys were still vivid. He graduated from Choteau High School, attended the University of Washington for one year, then completed work for a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Montana in 1923. After three years in upstate New York, he moved to Kentucky as a reporter for the Lexington Leader. He became city editor of the Leader (1929-45), then executive editor until 1947. Guthrie was highly respected for his editorial talents, and as a newspaperman he perhaps was a more successful teacher of journalism than most university professors of the subject. As an editorial writer and interpreter of Kentucky public affairs, he exerted real influence.
At heart, Guthrie was from his earliest newspaper years a novelist yearning to write about his beloved West. An opportunity to do so came his way when he was appointed a Nieman Fellow (1947-48) at Harvard University. At the outset he planned a series of five novels to cover the West from the era of the Rocky Mountain fur trappers and scouts to final settlement. The first in the series was The Big Sky (1947), followed by The Way West (1949), which won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished fiction; These Thousand Hills (1956); The Last Valley (1975); and Fair Land, Fair Land (1982). His autobiographical work, The Blue Hen's Chick (1965), deals with his years in Kentucky.
Guthrie is noted for his influence on Kentucky newspaper and history writing. He was an exceptionally talented reporter, editorial writer, and teacher of creative writing at the University of Kentucky (1947-52). Late in his life, he lived in Montana and was active as an author and crusader for the preservation of western fauna and environment. His books have received almost extravagant critical appraisal, and Guthrie was honored with doctorates by several universities. His awards and public citations include governors' medallions from Kentucky and Montana.
Guthrie married his childhood sweetheart, Harriett Larson, in 1931. She was the daughter of Tom Larson, a prominent rancher and Montana politician; they had two children, Alfred Bertram III and Helen Larson. After her death, Guthrie married Carol Luthian in 1969. Guthrie died in Bismarck, North Dakota, on April 26, 1991, and was buried in Chateau, Montana.
THOMAS D. CLARK, Entry Author
Selected Sources from UK Libraries:
Guthrie, A. B. The Big Sky. 1st ed. New York: William Sloane Associates, 1947. Print.
Guthrie, Stevens, Ladd, Arthur, Heflin, De Wilde, Palance, Johnson, Buchanan, Young, Hornbeck, McAdoo, Schaefer, Guthrie, A. B., Stevens, George Cooper, Ladd, Alan, Arthur, Jean, Heflin, Van, Palance, Jack, Johnson, Ben, Buchanan, Edgar, Young, Victor, Hornbeck, William, McAdoo, Tom, Schaefer, Jack, Paramount Pictures Corporation, and Paramount Home Video. Shane. Hollywood, Calif.: Paramount, 2000.
Guthrie, A. B. The Blue Hen's Chick : A Life in Context. 1st Ed.]. ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1965. Print.