- Category : Entertainment-Radio-D.J.-Announcer
- Type : GE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Dedication 1
New Zealand writer whose novels include "Hang on a Minute Mate," 1961, "There and Back," 1962 and "The Odd Spot of Bother," 1967: a total of more than twenty books of comic Kiwi (New Zealand) yarns. Crump was visible in award-winning TV commercials for Toyota four-wheel drive before his death on 7/03/1996.
Crump grew up on dairy farms and was educated at numerous South Auckland schools before attending Otahuhu College, which he left at the age of 15. Throughout the 1950s he was an itinerant farmhand and bushworker, and from 1952 spent several seasons as a deer-culler in the Urewera country and the Kaimanawa Ranges, employed by the Wildlife Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs. In 1959 he began writing the humorous sketches of his life as deer-culler and pighunter that were published his first book "A Good
Keen Man" in 1960. Success was immediate and he continued with close to a book a year.
After 1963 he spent two years in northern Australia, crocodile-hunting in the Gulf of Carpentaria and sailing off the north Queensland coast. The book that resulted ("Gulf," 1964, later titled "Crocodile Country") sold
100,000 copies in a Russian translation, according to the author.
In the late 1960s he also became well-known as a television presenter, doing skits and interviews on the local program "Town and Around." From the late 1970s, Crump continued the same mix of itinerant restlessness punctuated by brief periods of settled residence of the prior decade. In the early 1980s he ran a highly successful Auckland radio talkback program, "The Bush Telegraph." These activities confirmed his status as an icon of the rugged Kiwi "Man Alone."
Despite the success of "Bastards I Have Met," the now well-established Crump formula appeared to be producing diminishing returns for the author, who described himself as "bored by success" and "restless."
His next book, "Shorty," did not appear until 1980. In the interim he traveled for two years in England, Europe, then through Turkey and Afghanistan to India, where he developed a close friendship with a Kashmiri family and became interested in Eastern spirituality. After his return to New Zealand he joined the Baha’i faith.
In the mid-1980s he bought a small property and shack near Opotiki, his sole venture into private land-owning, but sold it again in 1991. By 1992 his New Zealand sales were estimated at more than a million copies.
While he had inspired his readers with his rough and rugged ways, his yarns about deer hunting, hard drinking and people he'd met, his real life had some darker chapters. He left a trail of five ex-wives and nine kids, all boys, with whom he had little contact. As part of an unsavory history, he was nearly charged with manslaughter when a land rover at a holiday camp he was operating ran off the road into a river, killing four boys. The driver was under age but had been left in charge of the vehicle. According to one account Crump had left the boys on their own time with access to firearms and the vehicle while they were supposed to be in his care.
The best-selling author and one of New Zealand’s most beloved personalities composed his "Song of a Drifter: Barry Crump" over the years and it was published posthumously. He was about to present his work as a balladeer and it recalls his dry, sly, laconic voice that had the gravelly crackle of a concrete mixer. He died July 3, 1996 in Tauranga, NZ, age 61.