L'Amour, Louis, 1908–88, American writer of western fiction, b. Jamestown, N.Dak., as Louis Dearborn LaMoore. He began writing in the 1940s, contributing stories to magazines under the name Tex Burns. After the success of his novel Hondo (1953), his works appeared under his own byline. L'Amour's fluidly written novels and stories are usually set in the hardscrabble world of the 19th-century American West. They feature vivid heroes and villains enmeshed in lively plots and espouse such frontier values as hard work and perserverance. One of the most popular and prolific practitioners of his or any other genre, L'Amour had, by the time of his death, published some 100 books, nearly a third of which were made into films; several previously unpublished works appeared posthumously. Among his best-known titles are The Daybreakers (1955), Taggart (1959), Bendigo Shafter (1978), and The Haunted Mesa (1987).
See his autobiography (1989); study by R. L. Gale (1985, rev. ed. 1992); R. Weinberg, The Louis L'Amour Companion (1992).