An American author and historian, he is best known for his 1971 novel, Angle of Repose, and for his 1976 work, The Spectator Bird. He also wrote several short story collections and non-fiction works, many of them on the theme of the American West.
He taught at the University of Wisconsin and at Harvard University before founding the creative writing program at Stanford.
He won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1972 and received the National Book Award in 1977.
He was married for fifty-nine years to Mary Stuart Page. The couple had one son.
Stegner's long-lasting marriage was described by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. as a "personal literary partnership of singular facility."