Edwin ‘Bud’ Shrake dies at 77; co-author of bestselling golf book ‘Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book’

Associated Press

Edwin “Bud” Shrake, an author and journalist who co-wrote the bestselling golf book “Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book,” died Friday. He was 77.

He died of lung cancer at a hospital in Austin, Texas, son Ben Shrake said.

Shrake wrote 11 novels, including “Blessed McGill” in 1968, “Strange Peaches” in 1972 and “Custer’s Brother’s Horse” in 2007. He collaborated with country singer Willie Nelson and football coach Barry Switzer on biographies, wrote screenplays for Dennis Hopper (“Kid Blue”) and Steve McQueen (“Tom Horn”), and his slim 1992 book with golf instructor Penick was a bestseller.

Shrake started his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Fort Worth Press. He also covered police, often from a bar across the street from the station, said Gary Cartwright, a longtime friend who was then covering the same beat for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. A copy boy who monitored police calls would tip stories to the writers, and they would race to the scene.

Shrake later worked for the Dallas Times Herald and the Dallas Morning News before moving on to Sports Illustrated.

Recalling a job interview at the Fort Worth Press when he was a college student, Shrake wrote years later, “It was a rackety, dirty city paper, with the teletypes clacking and a sense of urgency everywhere. A copy editor was eating tuna fish out of a can, and the bowling writer was drinking bourbon, and I thought, ‘This is the world I want to be in.’ ”

Sportswriter Dan Jenkins, who attended junior high and high school with Shrake and later worked with him at the Fort Worth Press and Sports Illustrated, called Shrake “an easy writer, a fast writer, a creative writer.”

“We were into smoking and drinking and hanging out, like most writers in the old days,” Jenkins said. “I think journalism was a stopover for him. But he was awfully good at it.”

Shrake was born Sept. 6, 1931, in Fort Worth. He attended the University of Texas and Texas Christian University and served in the Army.

Married three times, Shrake was close friends with former Texas Gov. Ann Richards. His son said they were “longtime companions for 17 years” until her death in 2006. He will be buried next to her, Ben Shrake said.

“They were both very mysterious about it, and when you would ask them, they said, ‘We intend to grow old together,’ ” Cartwright said.

Shrake is survived by another son, Alan; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.