David Dary

(* 1934)

David DaryBiographical Sketch

David Dary (born Manhattan, KS, USA, 1934) is an award-winning journalist, nonfiction author, and historian, whose focus and main interest is the history and culture of the American Southwest.

A graduate of Kansas State University, Dary worked in broadcast journalism, including nationally syndicated channels CBS and NBC, for roughly 15 years, before first joining the faculty of his alma mater, where he taught for 20 years, and then that of Oklahoma University, for another eleven years, for a career in teaching and in writing books.

Dary is a former member of numerous academic and professional journalism organizations. He served on the board of directors of the Kansas State Historical Society for twenty years, is a past president of the Western Writers of America, a former council member of the Western History Association, and past president and board chairman of Westerners International. He has been inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Famer and the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame as well as, in August 2010, the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame at Dodge City for his literary contributions to the history of the cowboy.


Major Awards and Honors

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum (USA)
  • 1982: Bronze Wrangler (Western Heritage) Award, Literary / Nonfiction Book – “Cowboy Culture: A Saga of Five Centuries”
    Joint award with Russell H. Beatie (“Saddles”)
  • 2005: Bronze Wrangler (Western Heritage) Award, Literary / Nonfiction Book – “The Oregon Trail: An American Saga”
Western Writers of America (WWA)
  • 1981: Spur Award, Nonfiction – “Cowboy Culture”
  • 1995: Spur Award, Nonfiction-Historical – “Seeking Pleasure in the Old West”
  • 2002: Owen Wister Lifetime Achievement Award
Oklahoma Center for the Book
  • 2008: Arrell Gibson Award for Lifetime Achievement
Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame
  • 2007: Inducted
Oklahoma Higher Education Society (OHES)
  • 2008: Inducted into the Higher Education Hall of Fame
Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame
  • 2010: Inducted
American Medical Writers Association (AMWA)
  • 2009: Walter C. Alvarez Award



  • How to Write News for Broadcast and Print Media (1973)
  • The Buffalo Book (1974)
  • Comanche (1976)
  • The Overland Mail: 1849-1869 (1977)
    – Editor.
  • True Tales of the Old-Time Plains (1979)
  • Cowboy Culture (1981)
  • Lawrence Douglas County, Kansas: An Informal Hisory (1982)
  • True Tales of Old-Time Kansas (1984)
  • Entrepreneurs of the Old West (1986)
  • More True Tales of Old-Time Kansas (1987)
  • Pictorial History Of Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas (1992)
  • Seeking Pleasure in the Old West (1995)
  • Red Blood and Black Ink: Journalism in the Old West (1998)
  • The Santa Fe Trail: Its History, Legends and Lore (2000)
  • Massacres Of The Mountains: A History Of The Indian Wars Of The Far West (2002)
  • The Oregon Trail (2004)
  • The Way West: True Stories of the American Frontier (2005)
    – Contributor.
  • The Oklahoma Publishing Company’s First Century: The Gaylord Family History (2005)
  • A Texas Cowboy’s Journal: Up the Trail to Kansas in 1868 (2006)
    – Editor.
  • True Tales of the Prairies and Plains (2007)
  • Frontier Medicine: From the Atlantic to the Pacific, 1492-1941 (2008)
  • Stories of Old-Time Oklahoma (2011)
  • Touring the West with Leaping Lena, 1925 (2016)








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