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Ferrol Sams, 90, doctor who gained praise as novelist

NEW YORK — Ferrol Sams, a country doctor who started writing fiction in his late 50s and went on to win critical praise and a devoted readership for his humorous and perceptive novels and stories that drew on his medical practice and his rural Southern roots, died Jan. 29 at his home in Lafayette, Ga. He was 90.

The cause, said his son Ferrol Sams III, also a doctor, was that he was ‘‘slap wore out.’’

The elder Dr. Sams grew up on a Georgia farm. As a boy during the Depression, books meant escape and discovery.

He read ‘‘Robinson Crusoe,’’ then Mark Twain and Charles Dickens.


When he was 58 — after he had served in World War II, started a medical practice, raised four children, and stopped devoting so much of his mornings to preparing lessons for Sunday school — he began writing ‘‘Run With the Horsemen,’’ a novel based on his youth, .published in 1982.

He also wrote thinly disguised stories about his life as a physician.