James Oliver Curwood, (1878-1927), was an American novelist and conservationist. He left high school without graduating but was able to pass the entrance exams to the University of Michigan where he studied journalism. In 1900, he sold his first story while working for the Detroit News-Tribune. By 1909 he had saved enough money to travel to the Canadian northwest, a trip that provided the inspiration for his wilderness adventure stories. The success of his novels afforded him the opportunity to return to the Yukon and Alaska for several months each year that allowed him to write more than thirty such books. By 1922, his writings had made him a very wealthy man and he fulfilled a childhood fantasy by building Curwood Castle in Owosso. An advocate of environmentalism, he was appointed to the Michigan Conservation Commission in 1926. His works include: The Courage of Captain Plum (1908), The Great Lakes (1909), The Danger Trail (1910), The Flower of the North (1912), Kazan (1914), The Hunted Woman (1916), Nomad of the North (1919) and The Valley of Silent Men (1920).