Wittliff, William D.

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Award winning, Austin-based publisher, photographer, and screenwriter William D. "Bill" Wittliff is perhaps best known as the screenwriter and executive producer of the television miniseries, Lonesome Dove (1989). Mr. Wittliff and his wife Sally, are also the founding donors of the Southwestern Writers Collection (1986) and the Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern & Mexican Photography (1996), both at the Albert B. Alkek Library, Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.

From the description of William D. "Bill" Wittliff Papers, 1968-1995. (Texas State University-San Marcos). WorldCat record id: 50510708

Bill Wittliff was born in Taft, a small town in south Texas, in 1940. After his parents divorced, he and his brother Jim moved with their mother to Gregory, Texas, where Mrs. Wittliff ran a small telephone office during World War II (these experiences provided the basis for "Raggedy Man," Wittliff's feature film). Later, when his mother remarried, the family moved to a ranch in Blanco, a rural community of 700 in the hill country of central Texas.

In 1964, shortly after graduating from the University of Texas, Wittliff, with his wife Sally, founded a book publishing company, The Encino Press, which specialized in regional material about Texas and the Southwest. To date, Encino has won over 100 awards for quality of design and content. The press operated out of a 19th-century Victorian house in Austin in which O. Henry once lived and wrote.

An accomplished photographer, Wittliff's photographs documenting the life of the Mexican vaquero (taken 1969-71) have been exhibited in numerous galleries and institutions throughout this country and in Mexico, including the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, and the Texas Capitol. In Japan, they represented the United States during its bicentennial year. After twenty years, the exhibit is still shown as a traveling display in the U. S. and Mexico under the auspices of the Institute of Texan Cultures.

At 29, Wittliff was elected to the Texas Institute of Letters. He served as president during 1974-78, and sat on the Executive Council until 1990. In 1993, he was elected Fellow of the the Institute. He is a member of the historic Texas Philosophical Society, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; and he served for six years on the Executive Board of Trustees of Robert Redford's Sundance Institute.

In 1985, with the donation of their lifelong collection of original manuscripts and books, Bill and Sally founded the Southwestern Writers Collection at Southwest Texas State University. Since that time the collection has grown rapidly, supported by donors from all over the country. It features original manuscripts by J. Frank Dobie, John Graves, Larry McMurtry, Walter Prescott Webb, Bud Shrake, Larry L. King, Horton Foote, Preston Jones, Sam Shepard, Willie Nelson, and many others. It also includes paintings by numerous regional artists including William Lester, Tom Lea, John Groth, Jerry Bywaters, Kermit Oliver, Robert Wade. Expanding the scope of the current facility, in 1996 the Wittliffs endowed the Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern and Mexican Photography which already includes works by Russell Lee, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Ansel Adams, Keith Carter, Henri Cartier Bresson, Lola Bravo, Laura Gilpin, Edward Weston, Graciela Iturbide, Edward Curtis, Nacho Lopez, Erwin E. Smith, Marco Antonio Cruz, Jim Bones, Paul Strand, Mariana Yampolsky, and many others. Both collections are housed in eight specially designed rooms and a large, chambered gallery on the top floor of the Albert B. Alkek Library on the university campus.

The Wittliffs have two grown children and live in Austin, Texas.

From the guide to the Bill Wittliff Papers, 1968-1995, (Southwestern Writers Collection, Special Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. Whirligig : an original screenplay / by William D. Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. The red-headed stranger : screenplay / by William D. Wittliff ; based on the album by Willie Nelson. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. The cowboy way : screenplay / by Bill Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Panthers, 1928-1963. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Proctor, James. Dreamer : screenplay / by James Proctor and Larry Bischof ; final polish by William Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. The mask of Aztlan : screenplay / by William D. Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. Ned Blessing, the true story of my life. Episode #0106, The Hooded man teleplay / by Bill Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Harrigan, Stephen, 1948-. Ned Blessing, the story of my life. Episode #0105, Oscar teleplay / by Stephen Harrigan & Bill Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. MIMS : screenplay / by Bill Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. Barbarosa : an original screenplay / by William D. Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. William D. "Bill" Wittliff Papers, 1968-1995. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. The cowboy way : screenplay / by Bill Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Graves, John, 1920-. John Graves Papers, 1920-2006 (bulk 1946-2004). Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. Ned Blessing, the story of my life. Episode #0104, The Smink brothers teleplay / by Bill Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. Venganza : screenplay / by Bill Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. The raggedy man : screenplay / by William D. Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
referencedIn Biography -- Wittliff, Bill. Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. Homecoming : screenplay / by William D. Wittliff ; story by Michael Wadleigh and William D. Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
referencedIn Lonesome Dove Television Miniseries Production Archives, 1985-1990 Southwestern Writers Collection, Special Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. The red-headed stranger : screenplay / by William D. Wittliff ; based on the album by Willie Nelson. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Bill Wittliff Papers, 1968-1995 Southwestern Writers Collection, Special Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. Deep ellum : screenplay / byWilliam D. Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
referencedIn Warren Skaaren Papers TXRC95-A94., 1946-1991, (bulk 1970-1990) Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. The Saltillo diary, 1933 Aug. 21-Sept. 7. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. Harvest : screenplay / by William D. Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. Thaddeus Rose and Eddie : an original screenplay / by William D. Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
referencedIn King, Larry L. Larry L. King Collection : 1948-[ongoing], (bulk 1967-1991). Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Thomas Heywood : the golden age : holograph manuscript, 1914. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
creatorOf Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. The Columbia diary, 1913 May-1914 June. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
referencedIn Cormac McCarthy Collection, 1984, n.d. Southwestern Writers Collection, Special Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos
creatorOf Wittliff, William D. The cowboy way : screenplay / by Bill Wittliff. Texas State University-San Marcos, Albert B. Alkek Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Barthelme, Steve. person
associatedWith Benton, Thomas Hart, 1782-1858. person
associatedWith Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. person
associatedWith Encino Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Frantz, Joe Bertram, 1917- person
associatedWith Graves, John, 1920- person
associatedWith Grazer, Brian, 1953- person
associatedWith Groth, John, 1908-1988. person
associatedWith Harrigan, Stephen, 1948- person
associatedWith Hertzog, Carl. person
associatedWith King, Larry L. person
associatedWith Lonesome Dove Television Miniseries corporateBody
associatedWith McCarthy, Cormac, 1933- person
associatedWith Nelson, Willie, 1933- person
associatedWith Oliphant, Pat, 1935- person
associatedWith Proctor, James. person
associatedWith Shrake, Edwin. person
associatedWith Skaaren, Warren, 1946-1990 person
associatedWith Southwestern Writers Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Southwestern Writers Collection, Special Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos corporateBody
associatedWith Texas Institute of Letters. corporateBody
associatedWith Wade, Bob. person
associatedWith Wadleigh, Michael, 1939- person
associatedWith Webb, Walter Prescott, 1888-1963. person
associatedWith Whitehead, Barbara Mathews, 1940- person
associatedWith Wittliff family, family
associatedWith Wittliff family, family
associatedWith Wittliff family, family
Place Name Admin Code Country
Mexico
Dallas (Tex.)
Sierra Madre del Sur (Mexico)
West (U.S.)
Texas
Texas
Texas--El Paso
United States
Texas--Dallas
Texas
Texas
West Virginia
Mexico
El Paso (Tex.)
Texas
California
Subject
Terrorists--Drama
Wheat farmers--Drama
Vendetta--Drama
Friendship--Drama
Murder--Investigation
Authors, American--20th century--Sources
Insurance crimes--Fiction
Literature and photography
Runaway children--Drama
Cities and towns--Drama
Authors and publishers--History--20th century
Horse industry--Fiction
Man-woman relationships--Drama
Migrant labor--Drama
Motion picture authorship
Women--drama
Daredevils--Fiction
Gold coins--Fiction
Photography, Abstract
Screenwriters
Western stories
Western television programs
Shapeshifting--Drama
Sheriffs--Drama
Made-for--TV movies
Occupation
Activity

Person

Birth 1940-01-21

Americans

English

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