A muckraking newspaperman who was once nationally known as a historian of the West, Owen Payne White (1879-1946) brought local history to center stage, intrigued readers nationally with tales of the Old West, and spotlighted corruption in high and low places. This long-overdue biography restores this overlooked writer to the forefront of western history and journalism.
White spent his early writing career as a newspaper columnist until his history of El Paso, Out of the Desert: The Historical Romance of El Paso, catapulted him into the major leagues of journalism when the publisher brought it to the attention of the New York Times and the American Mercury. White moved to New York and went on to publish eight books on the Old West, an autobiography, and dozens of articles as a staff editor at Collier's. He uncovered hypocrisy, heroism, and crime, earning national recognition as well as death threats and a million-dollar lawsuit. His knowledge of Mexico also allowed him to follow leads south of the border, where he covered the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution. Through it all, White never lost his sardonic wit, his scrupulous directness, or his intellectual and political independence.