Jim Kjelgaard was born in the Pennsylvania mountains and grew up living an outdoor life with his brothers. His formal education ended with high school, but his desire to learn and communicate lasted all his life. He wanted to write of the things he knew: the animals and people who lived close to the natural world he loved. He did so with considerable talent and clarity, producing many magazine articles, short stories, and some forty books, until he became a classic author for young adults. He loved his animal companions and always had dogs with him. Everything interested him: history, languages, anthropology. He had a gift for listening to others and making them feel at ease. His last years were spent in the Arizonan Sonoran desert, which he also grew to love. He left behind his writings, which have proved a gift to many.