Owen Wister (1860-1938) was an American writer of western novels. He studied at the Harvard Law School, where he was a classmate of Theodore Roosevelt and graduated in 1888.
At first he aspired to a career in music, and spent two years studying at a Paris conservatory. Thereafter, he worked briefly in a bank in New York before studying law. Wister had spent several summers out in the American West and was fascinated with the culture, lore and terrain of that region. When he started writing, he naturally inclined towards fiction set on the western frontier. Wister's most famous work remains the 1902 novel The Virginian: Horseman of the Plains. This is widely regarded as being the first American western novel. Amongst his other works are: Lin McLean (1897), The Jimmyjohn Boss and Other Stories (1900), Philosophy 4 (1903), Lady Baltimore (1906), Mother (1907), Padre Ignacio; or, The Song of Temptation (1911) and A Straight Deal (1920).