Glenn Balch grew up in Texas. He came to Idaho to fight fires in in 1924 when he was 21 years. He wrote for the Idaho Statesman for several years, worked as an assistant to U.S. Senator John Thomas for a while, then served as a pilot in the U.S. Army-Air Force. During World War II, he flew over 100 hours in combat over enemy territory. In 1963, he retired as an army colonel.
Now, all that's an interesting life, but there was much more to the life of Glenn Balch. He also found time to write 35 books.
Balch wrote his first book, Riders of the Rio Grande, while snowbound at Pettit Lake in the Sawtooths. It was published in 1935. His books about animals and the wild West were favorites with juvenile readers, and he received many awards for them.
One of his best-known books, called Indian Paint, was made into a movie starring Johnny Crawford. His books have been translated into many foreign languages. One Glenn Balch novel, a dog story titled White Ruff, sold over a million copies, and the horse story Tiger Roan, has been reprinted 19 times.
In September, 1989 at the age of 86, Glenn Balch died as the result of a car accident. The Boise author brought a lot of pleasure to generations of young readers. His books are largely out of print today.