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Richard Ford Facts & Birthday, American - 𝐑𝐢𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐝 Biography
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Kristina Hensley (m. 1968)
Michigan State UniversityUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineWashington University in St. Louis
Michigan State University
Jackson, Mississippi
Male
Parker Carrol Ford
Edna Ford
$3 Million as of Jan 14,2016
Aquarius
Jackson, Mississippi
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Who is Richard Ford?

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Richard Ford is an American novelist and short story writer whose teaching career is as prolific as his literary career. He started his literary journey by becoming a fiction writer but his initial books failed to receive much attention, which is why Ford decided to opt for sports journalism instead. But as fate would have it, the magazine he worked for ran out of business and he had to again take up to fiction writing. But this time his books were noticed as he struck a chord with the literary world with his novel ‘The Sportswriter’ and collection of short stories called ‘Rock Springs’. Most of his stories are based in Montana, a state that he familiarizes himself with. He is famous for the ‘Frank Bascombe’ character series like—‘The Sportswriter’, ‘Independence Day’ and ‘The Lay of the Land’. Ford has served as an Adjunct Professor at the Oscar Wilde Centre with the School of English at Trinity College, Dublin, senior fiction professor at the University of Mississippi and is currently the Emmanuel Roman and Barrie Sardoff Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Writing at the Columbia University School of the Arts. He has won many prestigious literary awards like, Pulitzer Prize, PEN/Faulkner Award, PEN/Malamud Award, etc.

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Richard Ford Childhood & Early Life

Ford was born in Mississippi to Parker Carrol Ford, who was a travelling salesman at a Kansas City company, Faultless Starch. Ford spent most of his childhood with his grandfather who was a hotel owner in Arkansas.

After finishing school, Ford took a break from studies for some time and worked on the Missouri Pacific train line as a locomotive engineer’s assistant. He later enrolled himself in the Michigan State University and received a Bachelor’s degree.

After completing his graduation, Ford started teaching at a junior high school in Flint, Michigan, and was also a part of US Marines for some time, but was discharged after he contracted hepatitis.

Ford tried law school briefly but dropped out and entered into the creative writing program at the University of California, Irvine, in the pursuit of Master of Fine Arts degree. He received his Master’s degree in 1970.

Richard Ford Career

After Ford received his Master’s degree in fine arts from the University of California, he was offered a three-year appointment in the University of Michigan Society of Fellows in 1971.

Ford published his first novel in 1976, titled ‘A Piece of My Heart’—a story of two improbable wanderers whose paths cross on an Island in the Mississippi River. He followed it with another book ‘The Ultimate Good Luck (1981)’.

While he was getting his books published, he taught at Williams College and Princeton for a brief period of time. His books did not do well commercially, which is why he stopped writing fiction and started working for ‘Inside Sports’.

The magazine went out of business and left Ford jobless. He turned to fiction writing again and released ‘The Sportswriter’ in 1986—a novel about an author who turned to sports writing while going through a personal crisis.

The book was named as one of the Time magazine’s five best books of 1986 and it was selected as a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In the following year, Ford released another book titled ‘Rock Springs’.

‘Rock Springs’ is a collection of different stories, all set in Montana. He was now known as one of the pioneering writers of ‘dirty realism’--his stories were on the lives of the expelled and the downtrodden.

In 1990, ‘Wildlife’ was released—it is a story about a Montana based golf champion who turns into a firefighter. He also edited some works like: ‘Best American Short Stories’, ‘Granta Book of the American Short Story’, etc.

It was Ford’s ‘Independence Day’ in 1995 that finally earned him both PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He was also the winner of the Rea Award for the Short Story, for outstanding achievement in that genre.

In the ‘2000s, Ford worked as a teaching appointment at Bowdoin College (2005), an Adjunct Professor at the Trinity College, Dublin (2008) and assumed the post of senior fiction professor at the University of Mississippi (2011).

He continued writing and published books like: ‘A Multitude of Sins (2002)’, ‘The Lay of the Land (2006)’—part of ‘Frank Boscombe’ series and ‘Canada (2012)’. He started teaching at the Columbia University School of the Arts (2012).

Richard Ford Major Works

The most memorable work of Ford’s writing career is considered to be his ‘Frank Bascombe’ series which includes novels like ‘The Sportswriter’, ‘Independence Day’—for which he won Pen/Faulkner Award and ‘The Lay of the Land’.

Richard Ford Awards & Achievements

In his writing career, Ford has received accolades like: Pulitzer Prize (‘Independence Day’), PEN/Faulkner Award (‘Independence Day’), PEN/Malamud Award, Rea Award for the Short Story, Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence and Prix Femina Etranger (‘Canada’).

Richard Ford Personal Life & Legacy

Ford met his wife Kristina Hensley while he was doing Bachelor’s degree from the Michigan State University and they got married in 1968. They live in Louisiana, where Hensley was the executive director of the city planning commission.

Richard Ford Trivia

There have been literary comparisons between Ford's work and the works of writers like: John Updike, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and Walker Percy.

Ford claims that his mild dyslexia is probably the reason why he excelled at literature because it gave him the opportunity to absorb everything very carefully and slowly.

Oakley Hall and E. L. Doctorow were Ford’s teachers at University of California.

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Richard Ford awards

  • Other

    • 1995
      Rea Award for the Short Story
    • - New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year
    • - St. Louis Literary Award
    • 1995 - PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
    • 1995 - Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
    • 2001 - PEN/Malamud Award
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Richard Ford biography timelines

  • Ford was born in Mississippi to Parker Carrol Ford, who was a travelling salesman at a Kansas City company, Faultless Starch. Ford spent most of his childhood with his grandfather who was a hotel owner in Arkansas.
    16th Feb 1944
  • Ford met his wife Kristina Hensley while he was doing Bachelor’s degree from the Michigan State University and they got married in 1968. They live in Louisiana, where Hensley was the executive director of the city planning commission.
    1968
  • Ford tried law school briefly but dropped out and entered into the creative writing program at the University of California, Irvine, in the pursuit of Master of Fine Arts degree. He received his Master’s degree in 1970.
    1970
  • After Ford received his Master’s degree in fine arts from the University of California, he was offered a three-year appointment in the University of Michigan Society of Fellows in 1971.
    1971
  • Ford published his first novel in 1976, titled ‘A Piece of My Heart’—a story of two improbable wanderers whose paths cross on an Island in the Mississippi River. He followed it with another book ‘The Ultimate Good Luck (1981)’.
    1976 To 1981
  • The magazine went out of business and left Ford jobless. He turned to fiction writing again and released ‘The Sportswriter’ in 1986—a novel about an author who turned to sports writing while going through a personal crisis.
    1986
  • The book was named as one of the Time magazine’s five best books of 1986 and it was selected as a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In the following year, Ford released another book titled ‘Rock Springs’.
    1986
  • In 1990, ‘Wildlife’ was released—it is a story about a Montana based golf champion who turns into a firefighter. He also edited some works like: ‘Best American Short Stories’, ‘Granta Book of the American Short Story’, etc.
    1990
  • It was Ford’s ‘Independence Day’ in 1995 that finally earned him both PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He was also the winner of the Rea Award for the Short Story, for outstanding achievement in that genre.
    1995
  • He continued writing and published books like: ‘A Multitude of Sins (2002)’, ‘The Lay of the Land (2006)’—part of ‘Frank Boscombe’ series and ‘Canada (2012)’. He started teaching at the Columbia University School of the Arts (2012).
    2002 To 2012
  • In the ‘2000s, Ford worked as a teaching appointment at Bowdoin College (2005), an Adjunct Professor at the Trinity College, Dublin (2008) and assumed the post of senior fiction professor at the University of Mississippi (2011).
    2005 To 2011
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Frequently asked questions about Richard Ford

  • What is Richard Ford birthday?

    Richard Ford was born at February 16, 1944

  • Where is Richard Ford's birth place?

    Richard Ford was born in Jackson, Mississippi

  • What is Richard Ford nationalities?

    Richard Ford's nationalities is American

  • Who is Richard Ford spouses?

    Richard Ford's spouses is Kristina Hensley (m. 1968)

  • What was Richard Ford universities?

    Richard Ford studied at Michigan State University, University of California, Irvine, Washington University in St. Louis university

  • What was Richard Ford notable alumnis?

    Richard Ford's notable alumnis is Michigan State University

  • Who is Richard Ford's father?

    Richard Ford's father is Parker Carrol Ford

  • Who is Richard Ford's mother?

    Richard Ford's mother is Edna Ford

  • What is Richard Ford's sun sign?

    Richard Ford is Aquarius