Born: No­vem­ber 13, 1879, La­fay­ette, Il­li­nois.

Died: Oc­to­ber 9, 1939, Los An­ge­les, Ca­li­for­nia.

Buried: Val­hal­la Me­mo­ri­al Park, Los An­ge­les, Ca­li­for­nia. His ep­i­taph reads I Have Fought a Good Fight.



Herbert was the son of John Wes­ley Buf­fum and Alice Ann Mal­lo­ry, and hus­band of Lil­lie May Fas­sett.

After mov­ing with his fa­mi­ly to Ca­li­for­nia and con­vert­ing to Christ at age 18, Buf­fum felt a call to the min­is­try. He held min­is­ter­i­al cre­den­tials with the Church of the Naz­a­rene, and was a Ho­li­ness Pen­te­cos­tal evan­gel­ist.

He was al­so a pro­li­fic song writ­er, with ma­ny songs in­spired by per­son­al ex­per­i­ence. He had 10,000 songs to his cre­dit, 1,000 ac­tu­al­ly pub­lished. Rip­ley’s Be­lieve It or Not claimed he once wrote 12 songs in an hour.

Though a tal­ent­ed mu­si­cian, Buf­fum re­ceived no mu­sic­al train­ing. He sold most of his songs for five dol­lars or less. When he died, the Los An­ge­les Times called him the king of Gos­pel song writ­ers.