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Ferrol Sams


A physician, humorist, storyteller, and best-selling novelist, Ferrol Sams is the author of eight books. Most notable is his trilogy of novels in which an eccentric and quixotic hero, Porter Osborne Jr., mirrors Sams's own Georgia boyhood in Fayette County. All of his works are rooted in the oral traditions of southern humor and folklore. With engaging and graceful prose, Sams's fiction celebrates love of the land, the changing southern landscape, and what he calls "being raised right" in the rural South. One of four children born to Mildred Matthews and Ferrol Sams Sr., the Fayette County school superintendent, Ferrol Sams Jr. (nicknamed "Sambo" by his father) was born on September 26, 1922, in Fayetteville, in the house built by his great-grandfather in 1848. Ferrol Sams Jr. graduated from Mercer University in Macon in 1942 and attended Emory University School of Medicine for two quarters before joining the U.S. Army Medical Corps. After serving from 1943 to 1947 and seeing action in France, Sams returned to Emory to continue his medical studies. He received his M.D. in 1949. He began writing his first novel in September 1978, as notes for a family history, so he could tell his four children and ten grandchildren what it was like to grow up in rural Georgia between the two world wars. The novel, which became a national best-seller, is a boy's account of growing up on an ancestral farm in Georgia. With wit, humor, and old-fashioned moralizing, Sams's stories are about unlikely encounters and what people learn from them. A natural storyteller whose works have made him a popular writer in the South and garnered favorable national attention, Ferrol Sams was honored in 2001 for fifty years of commitment and service to the people of Fayette County. In 2006 *Run with the Horsemen* was selected by Atlantans as the inaugural text in the Atlanta Reads: One Book, One Community program. In 2007 Sams was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.