Harold Bell Wright

Harold Bell Wright (May 4, 1872 – May 24, 1944) was a best-selling American writer of fiction, essays, and non-fiction during the first half of the 20th century. Although mostly forgotten or ignored after the middle of the 20th century, he is said to have been the first American writer to sell a million copies of a novel and the first to make $1 million from writing fiction. Between 1902 and 1942 Wright wrote 19 books, several stage plays, and many magazine articles. More than twenty one movies were made or claimed to be made from Wright's stories, including Gary Cooper's first major movie, The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926) and the John Wayne film, The Shepherd of the Hills (1941). Wright was born in Rome, Oneida County, New York to William A. and Alma Watson Wright. In his autobiography, To My Sons, Wright reports that his father, a former Civil War lieutenant and lifetime alcoholic, dragged "his wife and children from place to place, existing from hand to mouth, sinking deeper and deeper, as the years passed, into the slough of wretched poverty.


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