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Walter Farley's love for horses began when he was a small boy living in Syracuse, New York, and continued as he grew up in New York City, where his family moved. Unlike most city children, he was able to fulfill this love through an uncle who was a professional horseman. Young Walter spent much of his time with this uncle, learning about the different kinds of horse training and the people associated with each.
Walter Farley began to write his first book, The Black Stallion, while he was a student at Brooklyn's Erasmus Hall High School and Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania. He finished it and had it published in 1941 while he was still an undergraduate at Columbia University.
The appearance of The Black Stallion brought such an enthusiastic response from young readers that Mr. Farley went on to create more stories about the Black, and about other horses as well. In his life he wrote a total of thirty-four books, including Man O'War, the story of American's greatest Thoroughbred, and two photographic storybooks based on the two Black Stallion movies. His books have been immensely popular in the United States and have been published in twenty-one foreign countries.
Mr. Farley and his wife, Rosemary, had four children, whom they raised on a farm in Pennsylvania and in a beach house in Florida. Horses, dogs, and cats were always a part of the household.
In 1989 Mr. Farley was honored by his homwtown library in Venice, Florida, which established the Walter Farley Literary Landmark in its children's wing. Mr. Farley died in October 1989, shortly before the publication of The Young Black Stallion, the twenty-first book in the Black Stallion series.
- Black Stallion, the (1941)
- Black Stallion Returns, the (1945)
- Son of the Black Stallion (1947)
- Island Stallion, the (1948)
- Black Stallion and Satan, the (1949)
- Black Stallion's Blood Bay Colt, the (1950)
- Island Stallion's Fury, the (1951)
- Black Stallion's Filly, the (1952)
- Black Stallion Revolts, the (1953)
- Black Stallion's Sulky Colt, the (1954)
- Island Stallion Races, the (1955)
- Black Stallion's Courage, the (1956)
- Black Stallion Mystery, the (1957)
- Horse-Tamer, the (1958)
- Black Stallion and Flame, the (1960)
- Little Black, a Pony (1961)
- Man O'War (1962)
- Little Black Goes to the Circus! (1963)
- Black Stallion Challenged, the (1964)
- Horse That Swam Away, the (1965)
- Great Dane Thor, the (1966)
- Little Black Pony Races, the (1968)
- Black Stallion's Ghost, the (1969)
- Black Stallion and the Girl, the (1971)
- Black Stallion Legend, the (1983)
- Young Black Stallion, the (1989)