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Whispering Smith

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Whispering Smith
Frank Hamilton Spearman (September 6, 1859 – December 29, 1937) was an American author.

He was known for his books in the Western fiction genre and especially for his fiction and non-fiction works on the topic of railroads. The books were illustrated by leading wrists, such as N. C. Wyeth (Whispering Smith).

Although he wrote prolifically about railroads, his actual career was that of a bank president in McCook, Nebraska and did not himself work for a railroad. Spearman was also a devout Roman Catholic convert and held political views best described as proto-libertarian, both of which beliefs are also reflected in his novels.

His western novel Whispering Smith – the title character of which was modeled on real-life Union Pacific Railroad detectives Timothy Keliher and Joe Lefors (though the name of the titular hero was apparently derived from another UPRR policeman, James L. "Whispering" Smith) – was made into a movie on eight separate occasions, four silent films in 1916, 1917, 1926, and 1927, with later versions in 1930, 1935, 1948 and 1952. In 1961, NBC aired twenty episodes of the television series Whispering Smith, starring Audie Murphy, a film star and World War II hero in the title role, and Guy Mitchell as detective George Romack.

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