Abbey was born Jan. 29, 1927 in Indiana, Pa., and lived most of his childhood in Home, Pa.
After high school graduation, he was drafted by the Army and stationed in Italy as a military policeman until his discharge in 1948.
He attended the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the University of New Mexico, where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees. He also studied for a year at University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
His writing career got off to a shaky start -- he failed journalism twice in high school -- but his legacy includes 21 books, hundreds of speeches and numerous essays.
In his first two novels, "Jonathan Troy" (1954) and "The Brave Cowboy" (1956) he began working out his take on the traditional western hero, derived from James Finnemore Cooper's Natty Bumpo by way of Owen Wister's "Virginian."
The book that made his reputation: "Desert Solitaire" (1968). In it he describes his two, six-month stints as seasonal ranger at Arches National Monument. It's success was eclipsed seven years later by "The Monkey Wrench Gang," his 1975 novel about eco-sabotage.'
He died in 1989 and is buried somewhere in the Arizona desert. He was married five times and had five children.
Source: Ecology Hall of Fame andRiver Gardens Rare Books websites.