Novelist James Crumley was born in Three Rivers, Texas, on October 12, 1939 and spent most of his childhood in south Texas. After graduation he attended the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta on a Navy ROTC scholarship, but soon left to enlist in the U.S. Army, where he served from 1958 to 1961. Crumley then returned to Texas and enrolled at Texas A&I (now Texas A&M University-Kingsville), where he had received a football scholarship. Crumley completed his BA in History in 1964, and was accepted into the University of Iowas prestigious creative writing program, where he earned a MFA in 1966. Immediately after graduating he joined the English faculty the University of Montana at Missoula. His thesis was eventually published as the novel, One to Count Cadence, in 1969, a popular and critically acclaimed look at the Vietnam War. After his novel was published, Crumley left Montana to hold a series of visiting professorships: the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville (1969-70), Colorado State University (1971-74), Reed College in Portland, Oregon (1976-1977), Carnegie-Mellon University (1979-1980) and the University of Texas at El Paso (1981-1984.)
During a two-year stretch as a freelance writer (1974-1976) Crumley published the first in a series of crime novels for which he would become known. The Wrong Case (1975) featured a detective named Milo Milodragovitch, who would also appear in later novels. In 1978 The Last Good Kiss was published, which introduced Crumleys other detective protagonist, C.W. Sughrue. After leaving his last teaching job in 1984, Crumley worked full-time as a writer. He lived in Missoula, Montana with his wife Martha until his death on September 17, 2008.
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