The Lives of Authors – Bill Shoemaker
An author of three horse racing mysteries from the 1990s, Bill Shoemaker is not a well known literary figure today. I haven’t read any of his novels, but the story of his birth is remarkable:
William Lee Shoemaker was an American jockey. Referred to as “Bill”, “Willie,” and “The Shoe”, William Lee Shoemaker was born in the town of Fabens, Texas. At 2.5 pounds (1 kg), Shoemaker was so small at birth that he was not expected to survive the night. Put in a shoebox in the oven to stay warm, he survived, but remained small, growing to 4 feet 11 inches (1.50 m) and weighing only 95 pounds (43 kg). His diminutive size proved an asset as he went on to become a giant in thoroughbred horse racing.