Prolific Springdale Author Dusty Richards Dies From Crash Injuries

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SPRINGDALE (KFSM) — Dusty Richards, a local award-winning author of more than 150 books, died Thursday (Jan. 18) due to complications from injuries he suffered in a December 2017 car accident, according to his publisher.

He was 80 years old.

Richards’ wife, Pat, passed away last week, also from injuries she suffered in the wreck. She was 78.

Richards’ Facebook page on Thursday posted a eulogy for the legendary Western author:

What can we say about Dusty? The real question is what can’t we say about him? To say that he was larger than life is the grandest of understatements. He was an irresistible force and an unmovable object all rolled into one, a personality wider than the western skies he wrote about. He was an eternal optimist, a man who woke up each and every day renewed and ready for the next job, the next challenge, the next good fight. He was a father, a patriarch, a mentor of the first order. He toured the country teaching and encouraging new and experienced writers alike, challenging them to follow his lead, tell the next inspiring story, pen the next Great American Novel. He was a fighter, a lover, a joker, an entrepreneur, a canny businessman, a television and radio personality, a famous rodeo announcer, a cowboy, and, perhaps above all else, a master storyteller. Dusty was everything that fit under his trademark ten-gallon hat and so much more, and we could keep writing for a year and not do him justice.

Richards published his first novel, Noble’s Way, in 1992, according to his website. His 1993 novel, The Natural, won the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation Fiction Book of the Year Award.

He was inducted inducted into the Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame in 2004.

Richards was born Nov. 11, 1937, in Chicago, Ill., to John C. Richards, a stationary power plant engineer, and Jean E. Hogenbirk Richards, a homemaker, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.

Richards grew up in Arizona, attending college at Arizona State University, but moved to Arkansas in 1960.

He bought a ranch near Winslow and taught high school biology and science in Huntsville and Winslow, according to the encyclopedia.

Richards married Pat in June 1961 and later moved to Springdale. The couple had two daughters.