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Volume 1296

..ERB / Zane Grey Connection..
Part 3
By Bill Hillman
ERB/ZG Connection 1
ERB/ZG Connection 2
ERB/ZG Connection 3
Zane Grey Bibliography
Zane Grey Intro

Adventure Calls
Both men had a great fondness and appreciation for the outdoors.

ZG  was an avid hunter and championship fisherman, a sport in which he set many world records. He explored and mapped wild unexplored areas in American SW and Mexico and later took many sailing expeditions toAustralia, New Zealand, Tahiti and other Pacific islands.

ERB was first introduced to horses on his brothers' ranch in Idaho and later, when he attended military academy, he became an expert horseman and championship exhibition rider. During his years at Tarzana Ranch he took regular morning rides across through the rough San Fernando range land. He carried a firearm on these rides to guard his livestock against predators but he did not like to hunt. He loved to observe nature in its natural state and took little pleasure in killing wildlife for sport. He took the family on regular camping expeditions through the American SW and along the Pacific coast. He loved to swim and built the first pool in the San Fernando Valley. He also built a golf course on the ranch property in the early '20s, which survives today as the prestigious El Caballero Country Club in the City of Tarzana. Tennis was another favourite activity.

ZG with luggage and fishing gear wating for train at Lackawaxen 1900
Lackawaxen Station 1900
Catalina 1926
Catalina 1926
Tahiti kids
With Tahiti Kids
Catalina tackle room
Catalina Tackle Room

At camp
Flo and Ed at the Tennis Club
Hawaii Tennis Club
Camping caravan about to embark on another expedition
Embarking on a camping trip from Tarzana
Ed making the rounds at Tarzana
Riding at Tarzana Ranch

Before Their Time
Both men were dedicated conservationists ~ their concerns for the environment were far ahead of the times they lived in. They took many trips to unspoiled lands and used their writing and roles as celebrities to condemned the indiscriminate destruction of the environment brought on by expanding civilization. They immortalized rugged outdoor landscapes.

ZG's specialty was the American West -- he was instrumental in developing the western genre as we know it today. But his descriptions and his heroes were far more accurate than those described by his imitators.
ZG: "Thousands and millions of men exploit what is not really theirs for their own selfish ends. Coal, oil, timer, minerals, the great schools of food fishes are all natural products of our great outdoors. I do not advocate that they should belong to the government, but the government should see to it that the men dealing with those resources should not gut them and not spoil the beauty and health-giving properties of the forests and rivers."

ERB invented and described lands he had never visited beyond his vivid imagination: Africa, alien words and distant planets.
ERB: "What a paradise! And some day civilized man would come and -- spoil it! Ruthless axes would raze that age-old wood; black, sticky smoke would rise from ugly chimneys against that azure sky; grimy little boats with wheels behind or upon either side would churn the mud from the bottom of Jad-in-lul, turning its blue waters to a dirty brown; hideous piers would project into the lake from swalid buildings of corrugated iron...." ~ Tarzan the Terrible

Auto Gypsy

Exotic trees at Tarzana Ranch
San Diego Beach
Pacific Ocean

Lion Hunter
Tahiti ~ Grander
Tahiti ~ Grander

Camps and Trails


Romantic Heroes
Both authors wrote of heroes with virtues of strength, loyalty, courage, resourcefulness, and a kinship with nature -- qualities the authors felt inherent in men of the outdoors. Both they were very romantic in their writing styles. When accused of being a writer of "mere romances" Zane Grey responded that since romance is simply another word for idealism, he was proud to create "romances"

Mysterious Rider Film Poster

Arizona Rider

ERB and Glen Morris
Olympic champ film Tarzan

Debut of Tarzan of the Apes
Frazetta Doubleday Book Club ed.
First Hero: Carter of Mars

1934: Nadir

Both writers experienced one of the worst years of their lives in 1934. As result of the depression of the "dirty '30s,", magazine serial sales had dried up and book royalties had plummeted. Both men lost a family member who had been spiritual and driving force in their careers up to this point -- and to make matters even worse, bad investments and over-spending seemed to catch up with them at this point.

ZG's new ship, dubbed the Fisherman II, in which he started a round-the-world cruise proved unseaworthy -- and the final cost was over $300,000 -- three times the amount that had been budgeted. Costs on the cruise were much higher than expected and he seemed to be surrounded by unscrupulous people at every turn. He cancelled the cruise and returned home -- to what he believed was financial ruin. Shortly after his return, brother R.C. died. He had been ZG's partner in almost all his expeditions and his loss weighed heavily on ZG. Lack of finances forced him to reluctantly accept an offer to put his name on a comic strip -- King of the Royal Mounted -- for which he wrote story outlines.

ERB's son Hulbert crashed Ed's new aircraft, a Security Airster plane, "the Doodad,"  and although he escaped serious injury the new plane was almost totally destroyed. The company he had invested in to manufacture Apache Devil aircraft engines foundered, as did numerous other business investments including his Arizona goldmine venture and his troubled film company that was trying to finish a much-over-budget Tarzan film in Guatemala. His beloved Tarzana Ranch was now a thing of the past as he realized he could not afford the upkeep -- this resulted in his having the main house demolished. Unable to deal with wife Emma's increasing problems with alcohol, ERB left the household and filed for divorce. The significance of this move and the resulting backlash from his children and longtime friends was very troublesome.

The Funny Papers
Both writers were involved with creating story outlines for newspaper comic strips but they turned the writing of many of their newspaper strips over to their sons:

Romer Grey wrote much of the daily continuity for Zane Grey's King of the Royal Mounted.

John Coleman Burroughs wrote and illustrated John Carter and Pellucidar newspaper strips as well as illustrating many of the Tarzan novels.

King of the Royal Mounted

John Coleman Burroughs: Artist

JCB Tarzana Garden Studio
Media Masters
The works of both men were adapted to other media.

Characters, stories and the whole western and outdoors mystique created by ZG became very popular in comic strips, comic books, movie serials and radio shows, and merchandizing such as angling equipment, toys, and western wear. Throughout his life and beyond, scores of his titles were adapted to Hollywood feature films. After ZG's death his name was put on a TV series, as well as a series of western fiction magazines.

ERB was a master of media. He was on the cutting edge of 20th century technology and marketing: magazine and newspaper serials, feature films, film serials, newspaper adventure strips, syndicated radio serials on ET discs, permiums, merchandising, commercials, toys. Half a century after his death his characters are featured on the technologies of the 21st century: Satellite Television, cable, Internet, computer generated animated films, computer/video games, etc.

Inception of the ZG TV series: Loren, Betty Zane Grosso, Mrs. ZG, Dick Poerll and Romer Grey
ZG TV series ~ Family with Dick Powell
ET 16 inch disc: King of the Royal Mounted radio show
16" ET Radio Transcription Disc: King

Mag Glass
Australian King of the Royal Mounted comic
Australian comic: King of the Royal Mounted

ZG Comic: Rainbow Trail

Sunset Pass Video

Mag Glass

Big Little Book of comics

Collector's Plate
Hardy Bros Zane Grey Big Game Reel limited to 12 ~ 1936
ZG Big Game Fishing Reel

Tarzan Radio Show 16" ET
Signal Gasoline Sponsor
Gasoline Sponsor

Tarzan Radio Ad

Write . . . Write . . . Write
Throughout their writing careers both authors were hailed for their prodigious output.  They made a commitment to write each day. Although they preferred to write in their comfortable studies, well-stocked with reference material, their lifestyles often often dictated that they write in cabins, campsites, beach houses, ships, aircraft, etc.
ZG writing onboard ship
ZG writing on board ship to Catalina
ZG Cabin at Payson, Arizona
ZG Cabin at Payson, Arizona

ERB writing in his Tarzana office
Tarzana Office

Dictating a Novel into the Ediphone

In The Press
Danton and Bill Hillman examining Ed's clippings scrapbookclick for larger imageDanton and part of the clippings library
Danton Burroughs and Bill Hillman studying the ERB Newspaper Scrapbooks

The work and lifestyles of both men were always newsworthy and they were subjects of countless newsstories throughout their long careers. Burroughs, in fact, subscribed to a clipping service and dutifully pasted his newsstories from all over the world into scrapbooks. These collections are part of the Burroughs archive maintained by grandson Danton Burroughs in the ERB, Inc. offices in Tarzana, CA. One interesting clipping from the LA Times and reprinted in ERBzine 1365 features stories about both men in the same column:

Lee Side O' L.A. by Lee Shippey ~ Los Angeles Times ~ November 22, 1929
Tarzan as an Example: Edgar Rice Burroughs is convinced that his Tarzan stories are good for children because his own children grew up on them and he thinks they are the best of children. "We tried to keep the books from them at first," he said, "but couldn't. They almost know them by heart. And the only bad effect we've ever noticed is that for awhile one of the boys wanted to eat with his hands, because Tarzan did that when a boy."

Grey Spurns Tobacco: Zane Grey came very near inspiring us to swear off smoking forever. Or, at least, for life. We may smoke afterward, involuntarily. When we were trying to find out how he managed to accomplish so much, he said:
"I owe a lot to Barton Currie of the Ladies' Home Journal. I used to write three months a year and spend the other nine months gathering material and fishing. Currie suggested that I try writing six months a year, and that was the start of my most prolific period. Now I write all but four months, but usually take enough time to get in my boat and sail through the South Seas as far as New Zealand."

One big section of Grey's house, including several rooms, is taken up by fishing tackle and trophies of his fishing exploits. Swordfish and sailfish are his special delights and most of his fishing calls not only for skill, but for coverage.
"I never waste any time smoking or drinking," he added.
"You don't even smoke?" we interjected, in surprise.
"No, indeed. I can see a swordfish two miles away, and I couldn't' do that if I smoked."
We are no sword fisherman ourself but when we though of all Grey has done against considerable odds, we were just about to swear off smoking. Just in time, however, we recalled that Shakespeare is reported to have been quite a smoker.

Not Just Cowboys and Jungle Men
Both authors wrote extensively beyond their fiction writing -- including many newpaper and magazine articles. Although both men wrote for an adult readership, they experimented with a number of juvenile titles.

ZG: Much of his non-fiction writing was for the hunting, fishing, travel and outdoors articles that saw publication in the many sports, outdoors, recreation and men's magazines of the day. He even crossed over into writing books for boys including baseball stories, The Young Lion Hunter and the jungle adventure: Ken Ward in the Jungle.

ERB: Wrote many articles for magazines and newspapers and worked as a war correspondent in WWII. He also wrote many letters and kept private journals of his daily activities and numerous trips. Burroughs wrote a number of Western novels drawing from his adventures in Idaho (Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County and The Bandit of Hell's Bend) and as a trooper with the U.S. 7th Cavalry in Arizona. He wrote a few books aimed exclusively at a juvenile market including The Tarzan Twins and Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins and Jad-bal-ja.

Young Lion Hunter

Ken Ward in the Jungle

Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County

Bandit of Hell's Bend

Native Americans
The two authors wrote many accurate descriptions of American Indians, presenting their lifestyles and heritage in a way seldom done by other authors and movies of the time.

The most well-known ZG novel portraying Indians was The Vanishing American.

ERB, drawing upon his experience with Apaches while he was in the US Cavalry and upon true life accounts, wrote two acclaimed books: The War Chief and Apache Devil.

Vanishing American

The War Chief

Apache Devil

Sons in Service

Both men had sons who enlisted and served with the US forces in the Pacific during WWII.

Loren Grey - a lieutenant in the US Navy served 15 months in the South Pacific. After the war he became a psychology professor at Valley State College, CA.

Hulbert Burroughs served as a combat photographer with the US Army/Air Force in the Pacific theatre during WWII. On many of his assignments he crossed paths with father, Ed, who had the distinction of being the oldest accredited war correspondent in the Pacific. Son Jack served in the reserves and did art work supporting the war effort for Hollywood studios and Douglas Aircraft.

Edgar Rice Burroughs and son Hulbert
ERB and son Hulbert in the Pacific
Jack Burroughs
John Coleman Burroughs
ERB with the 112th Cavalry in New Caledonia with his jeep and officers
ERB with 112th Cavalry in New Caledonia
Lt. Hulbert Burroughs
Lt. Hulbert Burroughs: Combat Photographer

Military Ties

Both men were very popular among the military. The books of both men were favourite reading with the armed forces during WWII. ZG and ERB titles were published in Armed Forces Editions.

ZG had a liberty ship named after him.

ERB had a lifelong love affair with the military: military academies, US Cavalry, WWI militia officer -- culminating in achieving great camraderie with officers in Hawaii and the Pacific islands in WWII, where he served as the oldest accredited war correspondent in the Pacific.

WW I Reserves

WW II: Correspondent

Press Correspondent Card


Both men visited Australia and travelled extensively around the Pacific.

ZG, in his private ship, set many fishing records all over the Pacific, spending much time at Tahiti. He also spent time in Australia, where he fished and soaked up local colour and gathered background for his book, Wilderness Trek.

ERB lived in Hawaii from 1940-1945. He and son, Hully, witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. After the outbreak of hostilities he helped train a unit of the home guard, wrote columns and then travelled all around the Pacific on military aircraft and ships during WWII in his role of War Correspondent. He visited Australia on leave, during which time he sat many interviews and wrote numerous columns. His last Tarzan novel was set in the Pacific and reflected information he had picked up while on these assignments.

Tahiti ~ Black Marlin
Tahiti: Black Marlin
Australia 1938
Australia 1938
ERB observing the Pearl Harbor attack
ERB observing the Pearl Harbor attack

Carrying on the Legacy
The families of both men were very active in running their fathers' companies. All six of the children spent most of their lives in Southern California.

Dolly Grey played an active part in monitoring the business and creative affairs of Zane Grey, Inc. for many years after her husband's death. After working for a time at the Grey Ranch at Riverside, Romer took over the family business at Altadena.

After ERB's death, his three children became very involved in the running of ERB, Inc. They sat on the board of directors and Hulbert and Jack played important roles in the day-to-day company business into the 1970s.

Mrs. ZG in his studio 1955
Dolly Grey in ZG's writing chair: 1955
Zane Grey Family
The Zane Grey Family

Jack, Ralph, ERB, Joan, Hulbert
ERB, Inc. Board Members: Jack, Ralph, ERB, Joan, Hulbert: 1940s
Grandson Danton Burroughs of ERB, Inc.
Danton Burroughs Today

From the Vaults

Both men left a legacy of many unpublished and unfinished writing projects.

ZG left at least 20 unpublished titles that were released for many years after his death by Harper's and Grosset & Dunlap, and later in paperback editions.

ERB's imaginative tales experience a huge popularity boom through the 1960s and '70s. This led ERB, Inc. to explore the safe where many of ERB's unpublished, rejected and unfinished manuscripts were stored. Many new novels and short stories found their way into pulp magazine, paperback and hardcover editions -- namely, Amazing Stories -- Ace and Ballantine -- Canaveral Press, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Donald M. Grant, and Guidry & Adkins.

Fugitive Trail 1957
Fugitive Trail
Rangers of the Lone Star 1997
Rangers of Lone Star
Hulbert Burroughs and the ERB, Inc. Manuscript Safe
Hulbert and Manuscripts in Safe
Forgotten Tales: Cover Art by Danny Frolich
Forgetten Tales of Love and Murder

Into the 21st Century

The works of both men still reached a tremendously broad international audience, appealing to both adults and juveniles. Their characters and books have been and are still being adapted to magazine and film serials, feature movies, newspaper strips and comic books, merchandizing, radio, television, motion pictures, and keep attracting new generations into the 21st century as they are embraced by the new technologies.

Into the Sunset

January 31, 1940: ERB agreed to participate in a memorial to Zane Grey, whose works he said "will live forever as authentic records of days that are fast disappearing." ERB's ashes are buried under the towering tree in front of the ERB, Inc. offices in his beloved Tarzana.

Final resting place of Zane and Dolly Grey

ERB and his burial tree: Tarzana


Explore Our Zane Grey Tribute

Zane Grey Intro
The Edgar Rice Burroughs / Zane Grey Connection ~ Pt. 1
The Edgar Rice Burroughs / Zane Grey Connection ~ Pt. 2
The Edgar Rice Burroughs / Zane Grey Connection ~ Pt. 3
Zane Grey Bibliography Intro
Zane Grey Bibliography Illustrated Pt. 1
Zane Grey Bibliography Illustrated Pt. 2
Zane Grey Bibliography Illustrated Pt. 3
Zane Grey Bibliography Illustrated Pt. 4
Zane Grey Magazines Bibliography
Magazine Serials, Articles & Short Stories Bibliography
Zane Grey Comics I: Dell Westerns
Zane Grey Comics II: King of the Royal Mounted & BLBs
Zane Grey Biography
Zane Grey Altadena
Zane Grey Cover Mosaic
Zane Grey On The Web
Zane Grey Memorabilia
Zane Grey On Film

ERBzine Refs
Edgar Rice Burroughs Illustrated Bibliography
Edgar Rice Burroughs Bio Timeline
Burroughs Family Tributes
ERB Clippings Scrapbook


ERB/ZG Connection 1
ERB/ZG Connection 2
ERB/ZG Connection 3
Zane Grey Bibliography
Zane Grey Intro

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