Harry Behn

Biography of Harry Behn

Harry Behn (September 24, 1898 – September 6, 1973), also known as Giles Behn, was an American screenwriter and children's author.

Harry Behn was born in 1898 in McCabe, Arizona, which is now a ghost town, in Yavapai County in what was then the Arizona Territory. He was the son of Henry K. Behn, an immigrant from Germany, and Maren (or Marion) Christensen Behn, an immigrant from Denmark.

At the age of 18, after he had been accepted as a student at Stanford University but before he went there, he met Henry Berger, a photographer affiliated with the Prizma Company, who hired Harry Behn as his assistant for the summer. The two of them went to Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, where they were supposed to take a series of nature slides for Prizma. A family emergency took Henry Berger away for a month, and during this time Harry Behn stayed in Glacier National Park with all the photographic equipment, waiting for Berger to return. While Berger was gone, Harry Behn made friends with some young Blackfoot Indians whose reservation was in the park, and lived with them. He was invited to join the tribe, and underwent all the tests and rituals involved in becoming a Blackfoot, and received the name Big Wolf Medicine. For a while he was actually listed as a Blackfoot with the Indian Service, making him eligible for oil royalties being paid to the Blackfoot tribe, and he actually received a check, but he later convinced the Indian Service to give the money to the tribe.

He received his education at Stanford University, which he attended in 1918, and Harvard University (S.B., 1922).

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Trees are the kindest things I know,
They do no harm, they simply grow
And spread a shade for sleepy cows,
And gather birds among their bows.

They give us fruit in leaves above,
And wood to make our houses of,
And leaves to burn on Halloween
And in the Spring new buds of green.

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