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‘True Grit’ Author Charles Portis Dead At 86

Arkansas native Charles Portis, best known for his best-seller western novel True Grit, passed away Monday (Feb. 17) at the age of 86.

ARKANSAS (KFSM) — Arkansas native Charles Portis, best known for his best-seller western novel True Grit, passed away Monday (Feb. 17) at the age of 86.

His fans included Tom Wolfe, Roy Blount Jr. and Larry McMurtry, and he was often compared to Mark Twain for his plainspoken humor and wry perspective.

Portis published five novels, numerous magazine articles, short stories and one stage play. Portis saw the world from the ground up, from bars and shacks and trailer homes, and few spun wilder and funnier stories.

His 1968 novel, True Grit, was a New York Times best-seller and adapted into two critically acclaimed motion pictures. His book also became a television program and inspired a film sequel called Rooster Cogburn.

True Grit first hit the big screen with John Wayne playing the part of U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn and Arkansas native Glen Campbell in the role of La Boeuf. The story follows a 14-year-old girl's quest to avenge her father's death stretching from rural Yell County to Fort Smith and into Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).

‘True Grit’ Author Charles Portis Dead At 86

In 2019 state highway officials designated a stretch of Arkansas 22 as "True Grit Trail" in honor of the classic novel.

Portis received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas in 1958.

His funeral will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, at Second Presbyterian Church in Little Rock.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.