Ralph Compton (April 11, 1934—September 16, 1998) was an American writer of western fiction.
A native of St. Clair County, Alabama, Compton stood six-foot-eight without his boots. He worked as a musician, a radio announcer, a songwriter, and a newspaper columnist. Mr. Compton began his writing career with a notable work, The Goodnight Trail, which was chosen as a finalist for the Western Writers of America "Medicine Pipe Bearer Award" bestowed upon the "Best Debut Novel". He was also the author of the Sundown Rider series and the Border Empire series. In the last decade of his life, he authored more than two dozen novels, some of which made it onto the USA Today bestseller list for fiction.
Ralph Compton died in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 64. Since his passing, Signet Books has continued the author's legacy, releasing new novels, written by authors such as Joseph A. West and David L. Robbins, under Compton's byline.