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Harlan Thompson, 92; Ex-Rancher Who Later Wrote Children's Books

October 14, 1987

Harlan Howard Thompson, who parlayed his experiences as a rancher into a successful series of children's books, died Friday in a Pasadena hospital.

The 92-year-old author was probably best known for "Prairie Colt," which won the Boys' Club of America Gold Medal in 1948.

Thompson was raised on his family's ranch in Canada but came to Southern California as a youth, where he attended South Pasadena High School and USC.

In his younger years he returned to that ranch to work, but an injury forced him to give up that physically demanding life and he turned to writing, publishing the first of more than a dozen books, "Wild Palomino," in 1946. His other works include "Phantom Roan" and a 1960 series, "We Were There With the California Rancheros."

A past president of PEN International, a writers' organization, Thompson is survived by his wife, Gertrude, one son, three daughters, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is scheduled Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. at Little Church of the Flowers, Forest Lawn, Glendale.

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