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Paul Goble Biography

Paul Goble has felt the pull of the American Indian Tradition "as long as I can remember," he says, "probably since the time my mother read me stories by Grey Owl and Ernest Thompson Seten." As he grew up, Paul Goble read everything he could lay his hands on concerning Native Americans, until he came upon the books enshrining the wisdom of Black Elk, which finally "clinched" for him his life's orientation.

Born Sept. 27, 1933, in Haslemere, England, he grew up in Oxford where his father was a harpsichord maker and his mother was a professional musician. After two years in the army, Goble studied furniture design at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London, where he graduated with honors in 1959.

In the same year, he made his first visit to the United States, which was followed by a number of summers spent on the reservations. With each successive contact with Native Americans, his insight into ideas and ways deepened; one of his rewards was adoption by Lakota and Yakima people. "From early childhood, I always wanted to know more, and to see the country and wildlife with which the lives and beliefs of Native Americans were so closely interwoven."

Goble came to live in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1977 where, except for brief periods, he and his wife, Janet, have lived ever since. Soon after moving to the United States, his book, "The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses," won the Caldecott Medal as the year's best-illustrated book for children. In more than thirty books, Goble has drawn primarily upon traditional stories of the Lakota, Cheyenne and Blackfoot peoples. "I feel that I have simply seen and learned many wonderful things from Native Americans, which most people never have the opportunity to experience. I have simply wanted to express and to share these things which I love so much. To learn something of another culture has given me more facets and perspectives for my own life."

Goble passed away on Jan. 5, 2017.