Will James was born Joseph Ernest Nephtali Dufault in the province of Quebec on June 6, 1892. He left home as a teenager to live out his dream of becoming a cowboy in the American West. James went on to write and illustrate twenty-four books and numerous magazine articles about horses, cowboying, and the West. His works consistently captured the imagination of the public, earning him the nickname "the Pied Piper of the West." He died in 1942 at the age of fifty.