Will James (1892-1942), artist and writer of the American West, was born Joseph Ernest Nephtali Dufault. It was during his creative years everyone grew to know him as Will James. During the next several years, he drifted, worked at several jobs, was briefly jailed for cattle rustling, served in the army, and began selling his sketches and in 1922 sold his first writing, Bucking Horse Riders. The sale of several books followed. In 1926 his most famous book, Smoky the Cowhorse, was published, which won the Newbery Medal in 1927. His fictionalized autobiography, Lone Cowboy, was written in 1930. He also wrote Home Ranch (1935) and he wrote his last book, The American Cowboy, in 1942. In all, he wrote and illustrated 23 books.