First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life & Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 2341
A Presentation of the

Library Project

Edgar Rice Burroughs by Tom Yeates  .Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Charcoal sketch of 25-year-old LRH by Richard Albright
L. Ron Hubbard 
Connection I
By Bill Hillman

Companion Features in the
ERBzine ERB/Authors Connection Series:
General Charles King ~ Jack London ~ Zane Grey ~ ERB Library

Most LRH biographical information used here has been gleaned from the official L. Ron Hubbard biographical information presented in the L. Ron Hubbard Library in Hollywood, CA and from Master Storyteller: An Illustrated Tour of the Fiction of L. Ron Hubbard by William J. Widder ~ Galaxy Press, Hollywood, CA ~ 2003.
L. Ron Hubbard

Born March 13, 1911 in Tilden Nebraska
 Died January 24, 1986 near Creston, CA
Sailor ~ Adventurer ~ Photographer
Philosopher ~ Educator ~ Author
Edgar Rice Burroughs
ERB portrait painted by J. Allan St. John

..Born September 1, 1875 in Chicago, IL
Died 1950 near Tarzana, CA
Soldier ~ Adventurer ~ Capitalist
Rancher ~ War Correspondent ~ Author
Adventuring is a state of mind. If you adventure through life  you have a good chance to be a sucess on paper.  Adventuring doesn't mean globe-trotting, exactly, and it doesn't mean great deeds. Adventuring is like art. You have to live it to make it real. 
~ L. Ron Hubbard
"My salvation is to let all this roll over me,
to write, write and write some more.
To  hammer keys until I am finger worn to the second joint
and then to hammer keys some more.
To pile up copy, stack up stories, roll the wordage
and generally conduct my life along the one line of success I have ever had.
I write."
from L. Ron Hubbard's Journal, January 6, 1944

PULPS: The writing careers of both authors were born of the pulps.
ERB and Tarzan by Fenton and McWhorter
"Although the authenticity and perceptions in Hubbard’s stories are drawn from his extensive travels and broad cultural research, his literature is part of an intensely and genuinely American idiom of literary expression and thought that parallels the works of Hemingway, Steinbeck and Faulkner in the 1930s. Hubbard was a significant force in the popular fiction magazines that indelibly shaped American culture in the first half of this century with the post-modernist canon that also included Hammett and Chandler, Gardner, Burroughs and Heinlein. More trenchantly, Hubbard's influence has stayed with us and is now, perhaps even more forcefully, shaping the visage and direction of things to come."
~ The Fiction of L. Ron Hubbard by William J. Widder, MA ~ L.Ron Hubbard Library ~ 1994

Although the lives of both men had much in common, they were born about 35 years apart. In fact, Ron Hubbard was born in 1911 -- the year that Ed Burroughs had his first story published. They were noted for their prodigious output of stories over all genres and were trendsetters in popular fiction for many decades.  They shared an ability for captivating storytelling and fast-paced plots and colourful unforgettable characters. Before they ventured into the world of writing they had both lived adventurous lives that rivaled anything their vivid imaginations put to the printed page. Early on they found a market in the very popular and inexpensive "pulp" magazines, which  were a natural showcase for the fledgling writers. These low-cost, widely distributed magazines earned the name "pulps" from the rough, unfinished and untrimmed paper stock that made up their pages. Each magazine was embellished with colourful sensationalist cover art and contained exciting black-and white interior illustrations that illustrated a panorama of literary genres: exotic adventures, action, war, western, aeronatics, detective, science fiction, horror, romance, historical, sport, seafaring, fantasy, etc.  Both men kept extensive notebooks and journals. Details from their many real-life adventures and travels found their way into their stories . . .often through the kaleidoscope lenses of their inexhaustible imaginations.  Both imaginative authors had the good fortune of having their first published stories appear in two of the most popular magazine titles of their day: ERB debuted inAll-Story with the Mars science fiction adventure, "Under the Moons of Mars" in 1911 (later published in hardcover as A Princess of Mars)  and LRH's "The Green God" appeared 33 years later in Thrilling Adventures in February 1934.

Both authors sold much material across all genres to pulp magazines and newspapers before publication in book form. This was a very common procedure: most of Jack London's yarns of the Far North, Zane Grey's westerns, H. Rider Haggard's African adventures, O. Henry's stories, Raymond Chandler's mysteries, and the work of numerous other well-known authors -- including Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle -- appeared in magazines before they became best-selling books.  Few pulp writers could work fast enough, however, to make a good living; fewer still ever graduated from the genre: Hubbard and Burroughs were among those who moved on to better things.

Both men were so unique and popular for their time that they played a large part in launching new genres and styles of writing. Each commanded top dollar for his time and won over legions of loyal fans. Their popular themes and imaginative styles eventually spread beyond the pulp markets and influenced most other venues of pop culture. Many of their contemporaries and later authors have paid allegience to the legacy of these two innovators: R. E. Howard, Erle Stanley Gardner, Zane Grey, Max Brand, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, and just about every author of imaginative fiction.

The majority LRH's first work appeared in the pulps. His first pulp sale was "The Green God" which appeared in the February 1934 edition of Thrilling Adventures magazine. This was a story about an American naval intelligence officer caught up in the mystery and intrigues of pre-communist China. This opened the floodgates of his imagination. From then on he drew upon his travel experiences and his extensive knowledge of the world and its peoples to pour out a steady stream of stories in every style and genre. He rapidly gained the respect of his peers and was elected president of the New York chapter of the American Fiction Guild at the young age of 25.

His output was prodigious. Perhaps the peak of his pulp era creativity was reached in 1940. His futuristic "Final Blackout" has been hailed by Robert Heinlein as being "as perfect a piece of science fiction as has ever been written" -- Clive Cussler described the fantasy-adventure "Typewriter in the Sky" as "written in the great style adventure should be written in"  -- and his horror story, "Fear," set the prototype for a genre picked up by later writers such as Stephen King.


"The Green God"
Thrilling Adventures ~ Feb 1934

"Final Blackout"
Astounding SF ~ Apr 1940

Unknown ~ July 1940

"Typewriter in the Sky"
Unknown ~ Nov 1940

All Story - February 1912 - Under the Moons of Mars 1/6
"Under the Moons of Mars" ~ Part 1 of 6
A Princess of Mars
The All-Story ~ February 1912
All-Story October 1912 - Tarzan of the Apes - First Page
"Tarzan of the Apes" 
The All-Story ~ October 1912
Most of ERB's stories were first serialized in pulps such as Argosy and Blue Book, as well as in newspapers. His first story "Under the Moons of Mars" was published in All-Story February 1912 and "Tarzan of the Apes" appeared there a few months later. Nearly all his pulp stories were later published in hardcover by McClurg, A.L. Burt, Grosset & Dunlap. Burroughs took an even bolder step in 1931 by publishing his own books as ERB, Inc. publications -- he was also in a league of his own when it came to marketing his product as multimedia and through merchandising. Looking back from almost 100 years later we see that his novels have never been out of print and the characters he created are still hot properties in film, television, computer games, and stage productions.

The Frank Frazetta Connection
Acclaimed artist, Frank Frazetta, has illustrated many of the later editions associated with LRH and ERB.
Below are two of his illustrations of the authors' early science fiction work.
For more comparative art see the HUBBARD / FRAZETTA / BURROUGHS feature in ERBzine.

The Lieutenant based on Final Blackout by LRH

A Princess of Mars by ERB

The same illustration has even been used for two different titles.
Writers of the Future XIII

A Fighting Man of Mars


LRH's father, Harry Ross Hubbard, was a U.S. naval officer who was stationed in Guam during Ron's teen years, which made it possible for the young adventurer to travel through China and many other Asian countries. His mother, Ledora May Waterbury, instilled  in the boy a love of literature at a very early age.
Abram Waterbury ~ Great Grandfather
Great Grandfather Abra, Waterbury

Mother: Ledora May Waterbury ~ Father: Harry Ross Hubbard.

Ron Hubbard

Ron & Mother in Montana
Young Ron. . . already with dreams of being a sailor
Young Sailor Ron

Waterbury Clan - Ron on Left
Ron and his father
Ron and His Father
ERB's father, Major George Tyler Burroughs, was a Union officer in the US Civil war and was decorated by President Abraham Lincoln. Later he became a successful Chicago businessman - first in the distillery business and later as head of the ABC Battery Company. His mother, Mary Evaline Burroughs, wrote of her own experiences in the Civil War in Memoirs of a War Bride in which she related how she donned male clothing and followed her husband to the front.

ERB was raised in a stable, well-to-do family. He had three older brothers: George Tyler, Jr., Henry Studley (Harry), and Frank Coleman.

Major George T. Burroughs
Major Burroughs
Major George Tyler Burroughs
George T. Burroughs
Mary Evaline Burroughs
Mary Evaline Burroughs


LRH was schooled by his mother and could read and write by the age of 3 1/2. He became an Eagle Scout in Washington DC Boy Scout Troop 10  and won many badges and medals. One of his awards earned him the chance to represent the troop for a meeting with President Calvin Coolidge. His high school years were spent at Helena High School where he became editor of the school paper The Nugget. In 1927 LRH joined the Montana National Guard's 163rd Infantry.  In 1929, After another trip to Asia he enrolled in Swavely Prep School in Manassas, Virginia. In 1930 he enrolled at Woodward School for Boys in Washington, D.C. and enlisted in the 20th Marine Corps Reserve. After graduating from Woodward he enrolled at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he took engineering and physics courses. In 1931 he worked toward his pilot's licence by taking glider courses. During this time he was also was the secretary of the Engineering Society, and president of the Flying Club, and a senior editor for the university newspaper.

Ron Hubbard: Eagle Scout
Young Ron Hubbard
Young Eddie Burroughs
Eddie Burroughs

Cadet Edgar Rice Burroughs
ERB was from a privileged family and was sent to good schools. He went through a relatively normal public school education (Brown and Harvard Schools), although he attended Miss Cooley's Maplehurst School for Girls for a short time during a diphtheria epidemic. Later he was enrolled in private military academies: Phillips Academy at Andover and Michigan Military Academy at Orchard Lake, with uneven results academically, although he excelled in football, riding, drill and the editing the school publications. After graduating from Michigan Military Academy he went on to a multitude of jobs and locales: MMA professor and assistant commandant, US Cavalry trooper in Arizona, railway policeman, salesman, accountant, Sears Roebuck manager, etc.

LRH at George Washington University
Cadet Ed Burroughs at the Michigan Military Academy
MMA Cadet Ed Burroughs

Young Mariner Ron Hubbard
.A Guide to the Fiction of L. Ron Hubbard

ERBzine Refs:
ERB in the Wild West

Continued in Part II


Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Hubbard Library

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