1875: Edgar Rice Burroughs is born to George Tyler & Mary Evaline (Zieger)
in Chicago, Illinois. He is given the middle name of Rice after his
colonial ancestor in Massachusetts, Deacon Edmund Rice (1594-1663).
* His father is a retired Civil War Major
and rich whisky distiller.
* Ed is the youngest of four boys -
George Tyler Jr., Henry Studley and Frank Coleman.
* The family lives in a three-story brick
house on Chicago's West Side, 650 (later 646) Washington Boulvevard between
Lincoln and Robey Streets
1891: Ed reluctantly returns to the East from working on his brothers'
ranch in Idaho.
* One can almost imagine Mary Zieger Burroughs'
surprise when her young son returned home wearing a Stetson hat, black
leather vest, Levis, cowboy boots with spurs and a .45 caliber Colt Single
Action Army revolver riding low on his hip.
1894: To the amazement of everyone, the Michigan Military Academy football
team, of which Ed was captain and quarterback, held the heftier, more experienced
team from the University of Michigan to a tie.
1895: Lieutenant E. R. Burroughs heads a group of 11 editors
of the MMA newspaper, The Adjutant
1896: Ed, on his 21st birthday while with the US Cavalry at Duncan
Arizona, receives a picture from future-wife Emma who is vacationing in
* Due to his lingering dysentery and his knowledge
of horses he is assigned the softer job of running the headquarters' stable.
1901: ERB creates his first complete unified works - three booklets
dedicated to Harry's young children, five-year-old niece Evelyn and seven-year-old
nephew, Studley: a humorous booklet about family members, a collection
of children's poems and drawings, "Snake River Cottontail Tales,"
and a booklet of recipes and cartoons, "Grandma Burroughs' Cook Book"
1902: Ed and Emma have a hard time making ends meet. He borrows on
his life insurance policy.
1903: Ed writes his first piece of fiction: Minidoka
937th Earl of One Mile Series M. An Historical Fairy Tale -
82 pages handwritten on the backs of letterheads and odd sheets of paper.
It is filed away and forgotten until long after his death.
1904: Ed starts what are to be a series of jobs over the next seven
years: a high-rise construction site timekeeper, door-to-door book salesman,
a seller of electric light bulbs to janitors and candy to drugstores, an
accountant and office manager, promoter of a snake-oil medicine, "Alcola,"
reputed to cure alcoholism, schizophrenia, psoriasis and Down's syndrome,
1905: Ed documents many of the daily events in his life with a series
1908: Ed writes the poem "Poverty!" and pawns Emma's jewelry.
1909: Ed and Emma work on an elaborate baby book with art, poems and
photos to celebrate the recent birth of Hulbert.
1911: Encouraged by All-Story pulp magazine's tentative interest
in the unfinished manuscript of his first novel, Under
the Moons of Mars, and the acceptance of his verses in the
Chicago Tribune, Ed spends most of his time writing.
1913: Ed is finalizing plans to take his family to California for the
winter. The sole means of support for the family of five is now the income
from his writings .
1914: Ed is half-way through the writing of Sweetheart
1916: The Burroughs family name the camp
set-ups on their California
motor trek via Oak Park - Ottawa - Camp Point - Hannibal - Emporia
- Newton - Larned - Dodge City - Ute Pass - Santa Fe Trail - Pikes Peak
- Arizona - New Mexico - Mojave Desert - San Bernardino - Los Angeles.
Ed celebrates this birthday at camp 27: "Camp Arkansas."
1917: Influenced by the Great War, Ed prepares to submit three
patriotic, 400-word articles to newspapers: "To
the Mother," "To
the Home Girl," and "To the Woman on the Town."
1918: ERB is busy promoting the Tribe of Tarzan club which is
successfully selling Liberty Bonds. The request of the Fuel Commission
that citizens not use cars on Sundays so as to assist in fuel rationing
for the war effort has put a disappointing temporary end to the Burroughs
family week-end rides and their visits to Coldwater.
1919: Ed, who is a member of the Auto Club, enjoys the day taking his
family for rides in his Packard Touring car. Unfortunately the car is hit
the next day by a People's Express Truck.
1921: The English Tarzan stageplay makes its US debut at New York's
Broadhurst Theater. It has a short run.
Ed starts showing a series of September films
in the Tarzana Ranch Ballroom Theatre: All Dolled Up ~ Jail Bird ~ The
Dog Doctor(short) ~ The Smart Sex ~ A Bunch of Kisses ~ The Blazing
Trail with Frank Mayo ~ Seeing is Believing (short) ~
Love is cancelled because it starred Carmel Myer a popular
vamp of the silents ~ No Woman Knows
1922: ERB is considering subdividing 50 acres of hia ranch land into
business and residential lots and is working on plans to transform Tarzana
into a town with its own post office.
1923: Ed plans to enroll Hulbert and Jack at the Urban Military Academy
in Los Angeles and Joan in the Cumnock School of the Theatre in LA. She
is interested in a career in theatre.
1924: ERB is home after a 10-day fishing excursion with his sons into
the Sierras. He describes the outing in "Notes on Trip to Mono Creek
and Porpoise Lake" The famous Doodad was created during this
trip. Ed shows early symptons of heart trouble.
* ERB makes plans to rent out Tarzana Ranch
and Koonskin Kabin to movie companies: “The Bar ‘F’ Mystery” and
in the Bone” starring William Fairbanks, “The Pioneer” and “Terrible
Terry” with William Duncan, and “The Squatters”
with Bill Patton.
1925: Ed celebrates his 50th birthday in Phoenix, returning home with
the family from the South Rim of Grand Canyon. He is about to sever all
official connections with the financially-troubled El Caballero Country
1926: Thanks to Ed's influence, former All-American centre James Pierce
is given a screen test and is hired for Tarzan and the Golden Lion,
the last of the Tarzan silent movies.
* Hulbert and Jack start their daily commute
to the Los Angeles Coaching School. Jack starts writing and illustrating
his own stories.
1927: Ed writes letters disagreeing with Sinclair Lewis' forcing his
anti-religious views on the public in Elmer Gantry. He feels
a novelist's sole purpose should be to entertain. He praises the work of
aviator Charles Lindbergh and pleads for the protection of wildlife.
1928: Ed and Jack spend labor day weekend at Catalina. He brags about
his new Tarzan dog: "He is a six month Old English Sheepdog, weighs fifty
five pounds and is still going strong. I think he is one of the brightest
dogs I ever saw, but, like all puppies, a damn nuisance and eleven times
as much a nuisance as though he weighed only five pounds."
1929: Ed and the boys start an auto-camping trip to the Ensenada area
in Lower California. Ed and Hulbert have built a sleeping trailer for Hully's
Buick. The family also travels north to Grant's Pass, Oregon in two Pullman
1932: Ed spends his birthday at the beach with all the children present
at dinner time.
Triumphant with illustrations by Studley Burroughs is
published by ERB, Inc.
1933: Ashton Dearholt writes from Guatemala that RKO want Ed to sponsor
and endorse a picture making expedition.
and the City of Gold is published by ERB Inc.
and the Lion Man is published by ERB, Inc.
1936: Tarzan and the Immortal Men is released by ERB,
Inc. as Tarzan's
Quest, a title suggested by ERB secretary Mildred Bernard.
It features the final book jacket and illustrations used by long-time ERB
illustrator J. Allen St. John.
1937: ERB is working on Tarzan newspaper strip continuity. He enrolls
stepchild Lee in the Hollywood Military Academy in Brentwood hoping that
his studies will improve. The boy is not happy and is soon removed.
1939: Ed's 64th birthday coincides with the breaking out of World War
II. He states: "I was barred from Germany for a great many years
and, as far as I kow, I still am. I know Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Tarzan pictures
are barred there. However, I do consider it a compliment to be barred from
anything Nazi. I am only hoping that we are not going to be dragged into
HItler's private war. It would mean a lot with the number of sons we have."
1941: Ed, now alone in Hawaii, is excitedly awaiting Hulbert's arrival
1942: Ed socializes with many officers of the Signal Corps, Intelligence,
Anti-Aircraft Brigade, etc. He enters into a battle of wits with the Signal
Corps. Each tries to baffle the other with coded messages - "undecipherable
1944: Sensing that friends are going to throw a birthday party, he
asks Hulbert to invite him out to Hickam for dinner and the night. Hully
prepares a meal for Ed and three other officers: steak with onions, french
fried potatoes, corn, tomatoes, raisin rolls!
* In his article, "What
Price Tolerance," printed in Hawaii magazine, ERB demands
automatic citizenship for alien parents of any man who has served honourably
in the armed forces.
1947: In an effort to revive the Tarzan
newspaper strips, ERB moves in to supervise. Burne Hogarth, artist
on the Tarzan Sunday page, is assigned the daily strip, replacing Rex Maxon.
Rob Thompson, a Tarzan radio script writer in the '30s, takes over continuity.
1950: March 19
Edgar Rice Burroughs dies after eating breakfast in bed while reading
the Sunday comics.
He is cremated at the Chapel of the Pines in Los Angeles.
His ashes are buried under the tree in front of the ERB, Inc. offices
on Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, California.