Kyne, Peter B. (Peter Bernard), 1880-1957

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1880-10-12
Death 1957-11-25
US
English

Biographical notes:

Author of short stories and novels. Best known for his Cappy Ricks stories.

From the description of Letter, 1955 Mar. 9. (University of Oregon Libraries). WorldCat record id: 25017512

Peter Bernard Kyne was a prominent author of novels and short stories. He served in the Spanish-American War and World War I, and resided in San Francisco most of his life. Kyne was born on October 12, 1880 in San Francisco. Many of his 25 novels and 1000 short stories and articles are set there or in northern California. Most draw heavily on Kyne's experiences in the military, the shipping industry, and the lumber industry. Kyne enlisted in Company L, 14th U.S. Infantry, which served in the Philippines from 1898-1899. The Spanish-American War and the following insurrection of General Emilio Aguinaldo provided background for many of Kyne's later stories. In 1910, Kyne married Helene Johnston. During World War I, he saw action as a captain in Battery A of the 144th field Artillery, known as the California Grizzlies. The first of Kyne's 25 novels appeared in 1913. Three years later he published Cappy Ricks, a novel about his best-known character, a tough-skinned and soft-hearted shipping magnate. Cappy's adventures were the subject of two novels and about 50 short stories. Another of Kyne's most successful novels, The Valley of the Giants (1918), was based on personal experiences in the California redwood lumber industry. Kyne credited this book with alerting the public to the threat of lumbering to California's redwoods. In addition to war stories, sea stories, and shipping and lumbering materials, Kyne wrote many business romances, westerns, hunting stories, and horse racing stories. Peter Kyne died on November 25, 1957 in San Francisco.

From the description of Peter Bernard Kyne papers, 1917-1957. (University of Oregon Libraries). WorldCat record id: 57229257

Peter B. Kyne was born in San Francisco, California, and except for a later half-year in a business school, received his education in a one-room rural school. He did not graduate, but went to work on his father's ranch at the age of fifteen. He later became a clerk in a general store, then worked for a shipping firm. He served as an infantryman during the Spanish-American War in the Philippines and as a field artillery captain during World War I. After a few more various jobs, he took a stab at writing in 1909 and got his first short story accepted by the Saturday evening post. Kyne would eventually write twenty-five novels, over a thousand short stories, and several movie scripts. His writings were chiefly aimed at boys and men and he became best known for his stories starring the retired sea captain Cappy Ricks. Many of his stories were later made into movies, including The parson of Panamint, The valley of the giants, and The three godfathers; the latter being made into a movie six times and into a TV drama retitled The godchild.

From the description of Peter B. Kyne letter to Mr. Meconnahey, 1932 Dec. 2. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 65223216

Peter Bernard Kyne was born on October 12, 1880 in San Francisco, where he lived the greater part of his life. Many of his 25 novels and 1000 short stories and articles are set in San Francisco or northern California, and most draw heavily on his own varied experiences. Kyne left public school when he was 14 in order to work with his father's cattle business. He had no further formal education except six months study at a business college. At 16 he went to work as a clerk in a general merchandise store. When still under 18, he lied about his age and enlisted in Company L, 14th U.S. Infantry, which served in the Philippines from 1898-1899. The Spanish-American War and the following insurrection of General Emilio Aguinaldo provided background for many of Kyne's later stories. The next few years saw Kyne in several different jobs. In his own words (letter of April 23, 1940): "I got a job at $7 a week in a wholesale produce and provision house. I quit in 6 months to go to work for a wholesale lumber and shipping firm at $30 a month. I abandoned that job 6 years later to become a lumber broker. I abandoned that because I went broke; then helped organize a daily morning newspaper in Sas Francisco which flopped 4 months later but prior to that time I had written my first short story..." In 1910 Kyne married Helene Johnston. During World War I, he saw action as a captain in Battery A of the 144th field Artillery, known as the California Grizzlies. The war again provided material for future stories. Through the years, Kyne had periodic contact with Company L, the California Grizzlies and with individuals from his old units. He continued his strong interest in military affairs, as evidenced in his writing and correspondence. The first of Kyne's 25 novels appeared in 1913. Three years later he published Cappy Ricks, a novel about his best-known character, a tough skinned, soft-hearted shipping magnate. Much of the material for Cappy Ricks came from actual experiences of Kyne and his friends in the West Coast shipping industry. Cappy's adventures were the subject of two novels and about 50 short stories. In 1918 Kyne sold the dramatic rights for Cappy Ricks to Edward A. Rose, and a play based on the stories was produced by Oliver Morosco but proved unsuccessful. During the 1930's Kyne several times negotiated with advertisers to have Cappy Ricks produced on the radio, and several episodes were adapted for radio by Henri Sayre. In each case, however, the possible legal complications threatened by George Bentel (who had purchased Rose's dramatic rights), prevented Cappy from being produced for radio. Another of Kyne's most successful novels, The Valley of the Giants (1918), was based on personal experiences, this time in the California redwood lumber industry. Kyne himself credited his book with alerting the public to the threat of lumbering to California's redwoods. Valley, like many of Kyne's stories, was later made into a motion picture. In addition to war stories, sea stories, and shipping and lumbering materials, Kyne wrote many business romances, westerns, hunting stories, and horse racing stories. His own activities reflected these interests. Over the years he was involved in various investments, especially in mining. Hunting and fishing were among his main interests during the 1920's and 1930's. With a small group of San Francisco friends, he was part-owner of Shelldrake Club, a duck hunting property in northern California. Several friendships represented in this collection's correspondence revolved around common interests in hunting and fishing. In addition, for some years Kyne owned race horses and was president of the California Jockey Club. In the early 1930's Kyne's health failed. Combined with changes in public reading taste and financial difficulties in the publishing industry, this resulted in a period of literary and financial difficulties for Kyne. He tried to get a contract as a movie screenwriter, and for a short time in 1938 was employed by MGM, where he collaborated with Richard Maibaum. In 1940, Dude Woman, the last of his novels, appeared. During the 1940's and 1950's Kyne, still experiencing poor health, was involved in negotiations for sales of old stories to radio, television, movies, and for reprints of his works. Problems with George Bentel over the title to Cappy Ricks continued. Kyne's last two novels, including Summons to Elysium (mss. in this collection) were never published. Mrs Kyne died in 1956 and Peter Kyne died the following year on November 25 in San Francisco.

From the guide to the Peter Bernard Kyne papers, 1917-1957, (Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries)

Loading...

Loading Relationships

Constellation Information

Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6gb22vd
Ark ID:
w6gb22vd
SNAC ID:
20508788

Subjects:

  • Sea stories, American--Authorship
  • Logging
  • Authors, American--20th century
  • Literature
  • American literature--20th century
  • War stories, American--Authorship
  • Male authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
  • Authors, American--Correspondence
  • Western stories--Authorship
  • Hunting stories, American--Authorship
  • Publishers and Publishing
  • Short stories--Authorship
  • Authors, American
  • Arts and Humanities

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

not available for this record