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Walter Farley
Born (1915-06-26)June 26, 1915
Syracuse, New York
Died October 16, 1989(1989-10-16) (aged 74)
Venice, Florida
Occupation Writer
Language English
Nationality American
Alma mater Columbia College of Columbia University
Period 1941-1989
Genre young adult literature
Notable works The Black Stallion
Spouse Rosemary
Children Four, including Steven Farley

Walter Farley (born Walter Lorimer Farley, 26 June 1915 – 16 October 1989) was an American author, primarily of horse stories for children. His first and most famous work was The Black Stallion (1941). He wrote many sequels, and the series has been continued since his death by his son Steven.

Farley was the son of Walter Patrick Farley and Isabelle "Belle" L. (Vermilyea) Farley. His uncle was a professional horseman and taught him various methods of horse training and about the advantages or disadvantages of each method. Farley began to write The Black Stallion while he was a student at Brooklyn's Erasmus Hall High School and Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania. He finished it and had it published in 1941 while still an undergraduate at Columbia College of Columbia University, where he received a B.A. the same year. The USA part of the book was located in Flushing, Long Island, NY in a part of Queens that was near the World's Fair site in 1939. Part of the action took place on Colden Street, just a block or two from Main Street and only several blocks from the terminus of the Flushing subway line. This area up to the end of the 2nd World War had a number of actively working farms. There were cows, horses and truck farming. After the War, the land was sold and eventually high rise 20 story apartments were built. The area was not very far from Belmont race track.

Farley and his wife, Rosemary, had four children—Pam, Alice, Steven and Tim—whom they raised on a farm in Pennsylvania and in a beach house in Florida. In 1989 Farley was honored by his hometown library in Venice, Florida, which established the Walter Farley Literary Landmark in its children's wing. Farley died of cancer in October 1989, shortly before the publication of The Young Black Stallion, the twenty-first book in the Black Stallion series and after the start of production on the television series The Adventures of the Black Stallion.

List of books in the Black Stallion series

  • The Black Stallion (1941)
  • The Black Stallion Returns (1945)
  • Son of the Black Stallion (1947)
  • The Island Stallion (1948)
  • The Black Stallion and Satan (1949)
  • The Black Stallion's Blood Bay Colt (1950)
  • The Island Stallion's Fury (1951)
  • The Black Stallion's Filly (1952)
  • The Black Stallion Revolts (1953)
  • The Black Stallion's Sulky Colt (1954)
  • The Island Stallion Races (1955)
  • The Black Stallion's Courage (1956)
  • The Black Stallion Mystery (1957)
  • The Horse-Tamer (1958)
  • The Black Stallion and Flame (1960)
  • The Black Stallion Challenged (1964)
  • The Black Stallion's Ghost (1969)
  • The Black Stallion and the Girl (1971)
  • The Black Stallion Legend (1983)
  • The Young Black Stallion (1989)


  • Man o' War
  • Big Black Horse (young children's easy-reader version of The Black Stallion)
  • Little Black, A Pony
  • Little Black Goes to the Circus (1963) Beginner Books Book Club Edition
  • The Little Black Pony Races
  • The Horse That Swam Away
  • Great Dane Thor
  • Walter Farley's How to Stay Out of Trouble with Your Horse: Some Basic Safety Rules to Help You Enjoy Riding (1981) (nonfiction)
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