W.O. Mitchell

by Alanna from Calgary

W.O. Mitchell was born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan on March 13, 1914. When W.O. Mitchell was a child he was fighting off a case of tuberculosis in Florida. Before he became an author he worked on many jobs. First he worked as a deckhand on a Greek steamer. Then he was a lifeguard at Biarritz. After that he was a farm hand and then after being a door-to-door salesman, he was a stunt driver for a carnival. Then he taught as an English teacher for a high school. Soon he became the editor of the MacLean’s and then moved on to being a radio a television script writer. He attended two universities, University of Manitoba where he starting studying medicine but then his case of tuberculosis came back, and then later he graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in education.

In 1944 he went and settled in High River, where he taught school and wrote in his spare time. His first novel was Who Has Seen the Wind? and the success allowed him to write full time. After writing all his books he became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1973.

His first novel as you know is Who Has Seen the Wind? It was written in 1947 and filmed in 1977. His second book was Jake and the Kid. It was written in 1968, this story was originally published in the the 1940's in MacLean’s and then became a CBC radio series from 1950 to 1956, and after it became a television series in 1961. The next book he wrote was in 1972 and it was called The Kite. His next book was How I Spent My Summer Holidays and it was written in 1982. That same year, he wrote a collection of plays called Dramatic W. O. Mitchell. This series included Back To Beulah, which won the Chalmers Award in 1976, The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon and For Those in Peril on the Sea. A year later in 1983, he wrote another novel which was called The Vanishing Point. Then in 1984 he wrote Since Daisy Creek. And then in 1990 he wrote Roses Are Difficult Here and in 1994 a collection of new stories called According to Jake and the Kid.

W.O. Mitchell lived a great life and achieved a lot of goals. He was an amazing play writer and a great story teller. He lived to be 84 and unfortunately he died on February 25, 1998 in Calgary. He should be proud to live the life that he did. He had lots of success and encouraged others to keep working at your goal because they are achievable. His legacy continues to live on in the people who have admired him and he has been a great inspiration to people everywhere. He helped lots of people in a lot of ways. I think that he is a great guy.

Page created on 6/22/2008 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 6/22/2008 12:00:00 AM

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