An American writer, historian, and professor, he is known for such novels as Wind Without Rain, Neighbor Boy, and The Oxcart Trail. His acclaimed 1946 work, The Thresher, was a Book of the Month Club selection.
He graduated from St. Olaf College and the University of Iowa and subsequently worked as an English professor.
He was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame for his contributions to Education & Cultural Affairs.
He was born and raised on a Minnesota farm. He later married Anneliese Krause.
He taught at the University of Iowa, where Jonis Agee was once a student.