Ernest Gann; Author of Adventure Stories

From Associated Press

Ernest Kellogg Gann, a prolific author of adventure novels and short stories, has died at the age of 81.

He died Thursday night at his San Juan Island home after a brief kidney illness, said Lynne Rogers, a close family friend.

Gann’s books, many of which had aeronautical themes, included “The High and the Mighty,” “Fate is the Hunter,” “Fiddler’s Green” and “In the Company of Eagles.”

Gann apparently had not been writing recently, but he vigorously pursued his new passion--painting--up until two days before his death, Miss Rogers said.


She said she last spoke with Gann on Wednesday, when the two went for a walk.

Gann’s adventure-theme books reflected his interest in varied recreational activities, including flying and sailing.

In his younger years, he could be seen flying over an island valley in his two-passenger Derringer “doing all sorts of aerobatics and what not,” Miss Rogers said.

“Up until two months ago he liked to be out riding on his new horse, then when he became a little more ill, that was not possible anymore,” she said.


Gann moved to San Juan Island about 25 years ago from California. The island is in the San Juan archipelago north of Puget Sound between the Washington mainland and British Columbia’s Vancouver Island.

Gann is survived by his wife, Dodie; a son, Steven, who lives in the Monterey, Calif., area; two daughters, Alison Crimmin of the San Francisco Bay Area and Polly Wrench of Houston, and grandsons Christopher and Conrad, both of the San Francisco Bay Area, Rogers said.

There will be no public funeral. Mrs. Gann has asked that any memorial donations be sent to the Animal Protection Society in Friday Harbor.