About Richard W. Blair
Richard Wayne Blair was born January 28th, 1937 in Quincy, Illinois [website]. He was fascinated with the Jesse James story and legend since childhood and was always captivated by an interest in history. He earned a Master's degree in History from Eastern Illinois University.
He was a self-proclaimed 'Civil War buff'. He remained a member of the Friends of the James Farm Museum [website] at Kearney, Missouri until he passed away due to a series of medical adversities on August 28th, 2001.
In the author's own words, about his lifelong interest in Jesse James:
...I have been fascinated with the story of Jesse James since boyhood. In fact, over the years, I have developed quite a collection of books about the notorious nineteenth century outlaw, ranging from Jesse James, My Father to the more scholarly, Jesse James Was His Name. Besides museums, I'll bet my collection of books about Jesse James is one of the most extensive and complete of anyone in the nation. These books are handled with loving care, studied and re-studied, read and re-read.
The characters and events which figure so prominently in the saga of Jesse James seem to come to life and talk to me from the printed page. Those who lived at the time of Jesse James, the ones who rode with him and fought against him, seem to never die; their spirit keeps riding on. In my flights of imagination, putting myself in Jesse's place, I can well understand the anger, the torment, the hardships, the deprivation, the struggle, the pain, the sorrow, the sadness, the happiness, the humor, and the joys he went through...