Legendary Texas naturalist born in Illinois
On this day in 1878, Roy Bedichek was born in Cass County, Illinois. In 1884 he moved with his family to Falls County, Texas. Bedichek received a B.S. (and later an M.A.) degree from the University of Texas, where he worked in the office of registrar John A. Lomax, who became a lifelong friend. After working primarily as a journalist and teacher for several years in Houston, Fort Worth, San Angelo, and New Mexico, he returned to Austin in 1913 and four years later began work with the University Interscholastic League, from which he eventually retired as director in 1948. Bedichek was a dedicated outdoorsman and student of wildlife, especially birds. Urged by his close friends J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb, he took a leave of absence for a year beginning in February 1946 and went into seclusion at Webb's Friday Mountain Ranch to write the classic Adventures with a Texas Naturalist (1947). He published two other books, including Karánkaway Country (1950), during his lifetime; a fourth book appeared posthumously. Bedichek died in 1959.