John R. Erickson, born in Midland, Texas, and raised in the Texas Panhandle town of Perryton, is a fifth-generation Texan with ranching roots back to the 1850s. He graduated from the University of Texas and studied at the Harvard Divinity School, but made his living on horseback while pursuing his writing. His Hank the Cowdog series has become a national favorite. He and his wife run their own ranch and commercial beef cattle operation. A member of the Texas Institute of Letters, Erickson has been profiled in Southern Living, American Cowboy Magazine, and on CBS's Evening News with Dan Rather. He is the author of seven books in UNT Press's Western Life Series.