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Author Information: H. Allen Smith

 
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Harry Allen Smith (1906 - 1976) was born in McLeansboro, Illinois. He left home at fifteen and soon found work as a journalist. At the age of nineteen, while editor of the Sebring, Florida American, he met his lifelong companion, Nelle Mae Simpson, whom he married in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1927. From 1929 to 1941, Smith worked in New York City, where he became known for his lively interviews with the famous people of the day from Sally Rand to Einstein, and where he made friends with such newspaper legends as Gene Fowler and H. L. Mencken. In 1941 he became nationally known as a humorist with the publication of Low Man on a Totem Pole. After a brief stint in Hollywood, Smith and Nelle settled in Mount Kisco, New York in 1945. In 1967, having fallen in love with the Southwest, they moved to Alpine, Texas, where he wrote The Great Chili Cook-off. H. Allen Smith was still hard at work at "the writin' trade" when he died in San Francisco at the age of 70.

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