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Hal Borland, 1900-1978
Author, Journalist, Naturalist
Harold Glen "Hal" Borland was born on May 14, 1900, in Sterling, Nebraska, to William and Sarah Borland. Hal grew up in Flagler, Colorado, where his parents owned and edited a weekly newspaper. After attending local schools, he studied at the University of Colorado from 1918-1920, majoring in engineering. While there, he held jobs at the Denver Post and his parents paper, Flagler News.
Realizing that his true avocation was as an author, Borland moved to New York where he attended Columbia University's School of Journalism, obtaining a Bachelor in Literature in 1923. After graduation Borland spent several years traveling across the United States working for various newspapers, he developed his skills, working variously as a reporter, editor, copyreader, publisher, and eventually taking on the role of columnist. In 1937 Borland began writing for The New York Times, first as a staff writer for The New York Times Sunday Magazine (1937-1943) and then in 1942 as an editorial writer for The New York Sunday Times, a position he held until his death in 1978.
Hal Borland mentions that the deciduous trees whisper, because they are growing dry, but the evergreens hum and their sound is closer to music than any other sound in the tree world. And how true that is.
Reverend Flower A. Newhouse, September: The Month of Happenings
Borland also wrote short stories, poetry, novels (including westerns under the pseudonym Ward West), biographical novels, non-fiction, articles for a variety of magazines, and one play. However, Borland is best known for his nature writing. He was involved in a number of conservation efforts and his editorials for the New York Times, and later for the Berkshire Eagle (1958-1978), Pittsburgh Press (1966-1978), and Torrington Register (1971-1978), focused largely on the natural world and his experience as an outdoorsman.
Borland died of emphysema on February 22, 1978 in Sharon, Connecticut.