Frederick Benjamin Gipson
After years of balancing schoolwork with working on his family farm, Gipson decided to follow his younger brother to the University of Texas. There he discovered an affinity for journalism, beginning to write articles for both The Daily Texan and Ranger newspapers.
After graduating, he joined Hart-Hankes as a newspaper reporter roving around. Within a short while he began selling Western stories to magazines like Collier’s and Look.
Early Life and Education
Frederick Benjamin Gipson was born in Mason in 1908. Prior to attending the University of Texas, Gipson worked as a goat driver, mule skinner, and day laborer before writing for both Daily Texan and Ranger publications at that time. Due to lack of finances preventing graduation in 1937, he left school early without receiving his degree and began selling articles and short stories to newspapers and pulp Western magazines.
Gipson published his first book, The Fabulous Empire: Colonel Zack Miller’s Story in 1946. Subsequent works include Hound-Dog Man and Old Yeller (1949 and 1956 respectively, which became Walt Disney movies. Other noteworthy works by him include Little Arliss and Curly and the Wild Boar (1964-1973). After his death in 1973, his memory can be honored in Mason County Library’s special room dedicated to him in Mason, Texas.
Gipson served in the Air Force before turning professional writer. His debut novel, Hound-Dog Man (1949), was selected by Book-of-the-Month Club and sold over 250,000 copies. Additionally, Gipson wrote short stories for Saturday Evening Post and other literary journals.
At college football, he played both cornerback and safety positions, setting numerous Pac-12 and Big West Conference records including both single season and career marks for total all-purpose yards.
Gipson currently owns and operates a working cattle ranch in Simpson County, Mississippi as well as timber businesses. Additionally, he serves as president of the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture to advance regional agriculture.
Achievement and Honors
Frederick Benjamin Gipson is best-known for his 1956 novel Old Yeller, which was made into a popular 1957 Walt Disney film. Additionally, Gipson wrote the sequels Savage Sam and Little Arliss as well as short stories with Western themes published in magazines like Southwest Review.
Gipson attended Mason High School before enrolling at the University of Texas to study writing for both The Daily Texan and The Ranger newspapers before leaving early to become a newspaper journalist.
In the 1940s he began writing short Western-themed stories that later served as prototypes for longer works of fiction that would follow. Hound-Dog Man (1947) established him as an author when it became a Doubleday Book-of-the-Month Club selection and sold more than 250,000 copies.
Frederick Benjamin Gipson was born in Mason, Texas on February 7, 1908 and began life on the western edge of Hill Country shortly thereafter. While life there wasn’t exactly idyllic, its lasting impression has left its mark upon him nonetheless.
Gipson gained his initial taste of success during his 10th grade year by penning an essay for his high school yearbook about two boys who seek out and track down a cattle rustler. Although this garnered much praise and drew significant media coverage, its real results remained limited.
Gipson wrote the best-selling Old Yeller in 1956, which went on to become a Walt Disney film in 1957. Gipson considered Old Yeller his finest work, selling nearly three million copies by 1973 when he died. Additionally, he went on to write several more titles such as Hound-Dog Man, which became a Doubleday Book-of-the-Month selection and went on to sell over 250,000 copies within its first year of publication.
Frederick Benjamin Gipson (February 7, 1908 – August 14, 1973) was an American novelist best known for penning Old Yeller, the 1957 Walt Disney film adaptation. Additionally, other books written by him such as Hound Dog Man and Savage Sam have also been made into movies.
Gipson worked various jobs before enrolling at the University of Texas to study journalism in 1933, writing for both the Daily Texan and Ranger during this time. However, before graduating he left to become part of Corpus Christi Caller-Times newspaper before later contributing his writing skills to San Angelo Standard Times and Denver Post newspapers.
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