Wilbur Smith was born January 9, 1933 in Broken Hill, Northern Rhodesia. He grew up on a cattle ranch and spent his childhood hunting and hiking. His mother gave him novels of escape and excitement, which piqued his interest in fiction; however, his father dissuaded him from pursuing writing.
After education at Cordwalles Preparatory School, Michaelhouse in Natal and Rhodes University, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, he became a journalist, writing about social conditions in South Africa, but his father's advice to "Get a real job" prompted him to resentfully become a tax accountant. His publisher and eventually agent, Charles Pick, later gave him advice he never forgot: "Write for yourself, and write about what you know best."
Wilbur states that Africa is his major inspiration, and currently he has over 30 novels published. Smith now lives in London, but avows an abiding concern for the peoples and wildlife of his native continent.
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