Thomas Wakefield Blackburn II

Thomas Wakefield Blackburn II (June 23, 1913–August 2, 1992), was an American author, screenwriter and lyricist. His work included various Western novels and television screenplays, as well as the lyrics to "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" (his first) and other songs. Born the eldest of six children on the T.O. Ranch near Raton, New Mexico, to Howard and Edith "Didi" (née Herrington) Blackburn. His father worked for the O'Shaunnessy Engineering Company as an engineer and was sent to the ranch to install an irrigation system. The T.O. Ranch had its own internal railroad and was used in Blackburn's novel Raton Pass. After the irrigation system was installed the family moved to La Salle, Colorado (where Edith's father had a farm), and Howard Blackburn tried farming, then dry farming, several other jobs-including town marshal, and (with the help of financing from his father) opening a Ford Motor Company automotive dealership. After this failed, he got more help from his father and Howard took insurance classes in Denver and then became successful working for the Federal Surety Company in Denver. The family moved to Denver when Tom was in the fourth grade.


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