Richard McKenna was born in 1931 in the small town of Mountain Home in Idaho. Early on he developed a deep interest in reading even though his mother discouraged him saying reading too much was not good for his health. He entered college for one year but dropped out because the $50 fee was too large. These were the Depression years. In 1931 he joined the Navy in order to have money to send home to his mother. He remained in the Navy until 1953. Trained as a machinist's mate, his 22 year career included ten years in the Orient, with two of those on a gunboat, the U.S.S. Luzon, assigned to the Yangtse River. |
Retiring from the Navy Richard used his GI Bill to acquire a BA degree in English from the University of North Carolina and became one of America's greatest novelists with the publication of his novel The Sand Pebbles in 1963. this was his only novel as he died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 51.
This photo is of Richard with his wife Eva, a libraian who he met and married at the U of North Carolina.
For further details about Richard McKenna go to the McKenna archives at Mountain Homes High School www.mtnhomesd.org/RichardMckenna