First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life & Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ Over 10,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 2344
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 ~ Part IV
By Bill Hillman

Despite having led such remarkable lives, neither man wrote an actual autobiography although the dreams and events based upon true-life experiences were the inspiration for their amazing output of stories. Many biographers have turned to the task, however, and there is an impressive list of biographical studies of each author in magazines, books and on the Internet.
ERB: The Man Who Created Tarzan by Irwin Porges 1975 and 1976
ERB: The Man Who Created Tarzan
by Irwin Porges 
Master Storyteller: L. Ron Hubbard by William J. Widder
Master Storyteller: L. Ron Hubbard 
by William J. Widder
ERB started an autobiography but never finished it. He left copious amounts of autobiographical material behind, however, in letters, articles, and journals. Most of this material is preserved in the ERB, Inc. and Burroughs Family Archives in Tarzana, CA as well as in the ERB Memorial Collection maintained by George McWhorter in the Ekstrom Rare Books Library at the University of Louisville, KY. ERB's grandson, the late Danton Burroughs of ERB, Inc. in Tarzana has worked closely with Webmaster Bill Hillman in sharing a wealth of archival material on the official ERB Websites. A long line of biographers, bibliographers, media producers, writers and researchers have accessed the above sources countless times. Prominent biographers and bibliographers who have documented ERB's life and works over the years include: Vern Coriell, Bob Hyde, Darrell Richardson, H.H. Heins, Irwin Porges, Robert Fenton, Robert Zeuschner, Bradford M. Day, Richard Lupoff, George T. McWhorter, John Taliaferro, J.G. Huckenpohler, Erling B. Holtsmark, Philip Jose Farmer, John F. Roy, Robert Barrett, Brian Bohnett, Alex Vernon, and the editor of this Website.

Margaret "Polly" Grubb (September 22, 1907 1963?) was LRH's first wife, to whom he was married between 1933 and 1947. She was the mother of Hubbard's first son, L. Ron Hubbard Jr. aka Ronald DeWolf (born May 7, 1934 in Encinitas, CA) and his first daughter, Katherine May "Kay" Hubbard (born January 15, 1936 in NYC). Polly was a glider pilot who met L. Ron Hubbard on a Maryland gliding field in early 1933, where both of them were learning to fly as preparation to obtaining a pilot's license.

Mary Sue Whipp (17 June 193125 November 2002) and LRH were married from March 1952 to his death on January 24, 1986, and had four children. She was involved in the incorporation of the first Church of Scientology in December 1953.

ERB and Emma Centennia Hulbert were married on January 31, 1900 -- in the culmination of a 10-year courtship.  They had three children: Joan Burroughs, born January 12, 1908 ~ Hulbert Burroughs, born August 12, 1909 ~ John Coleman Burroughs, February 28, 1913.  On December 6, 1934, ERB is granted a divorce from Emma his wife of 34 years. Emma received a generous settlement. 

ERB and Florence Gilbert were married at the Las Vegas court house on April 4, 1935.. They flew back to Los Angeles to board the S.S. Lurline for a 40-day Hawaiian honeymoon at the Royal Hawaiian, Honolulu. Florence had two children by her previous marriage to film producer Ashton Dearholt:  Lee, age six, and Caryl Lee, age four. The couple divorced in May of 1942.

Emma Centennia Hulbert Burroughs
Emma Centennia Hulbert
Emma with kids: Hulbert, Jack and Joan
Emma with Hulbert, Jack and Joan
ERB with bride, Florence - 1935
ERB and Florence Gilbert 

The fiction works of both men still reach an immensely broad international audience, appealing to both adults and juveniles. Their characters and books have been and are still being adapted to modern media and keep attracting new generations into the 21st century as they are embraced by the new technologies. Their stories have been translated into every major language on Earth.

The New York Chapter of the American Fiction GuildFrom the beginning of his writing career, LRH has shared his experience with students in speaking engagements at major universities. He conducted forums in which he offered practical advice on how to break into the ranks of professional writers. This dedication led to his election as president of The New York Chapter of the American Fiction Guild in 1935 with a membership that included writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Raymond Chandler, and Dashiell Hammett.  He continued to write magazine articles and host radio shows offering guidance to help new writers. His legacy in this field of activity was the creation of the Writers of the Future Contest in 1983, which today is still one of the most prestigious writing contests. See ERBzine No.2346. Since its formation its judges have included a "who's who" of top-name writers. In 1988, Hubbard's vision inspired a companion contest for new and aspiring SF illustrators: The Illlustrators of the Future Contest.

In 1950 LRH embarked from fiction writing to devote his time to extensively researching, writing and lecturing about the human mind and its spiritual nature. The way had been paved by his successful writing career.

The result, in May 1950, was publication of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health which remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 26 weeks. By 1952 his research led him to develop Scientology, an applied religious philosophy. For the next three decades he devoted his life to developing and promoting this philosophy, and establishing its structures.

In 1982 he found time to return to the world of science fiction. The result was a defining and widely acknowledged work, Battlefield Earth, the biggest single science fiction novel ever published -- 428,750 words across over 1,000 pages. He notes in the book's introduction that this was the only novel he ever wrote just to amuse himself. It was a project he undertook to celebrate his fiftieth year as a professonal writer. This epic adventure is a novel of an apolcalyptic future in which mankind has been conquered and its survivors brutalized for centuries by an alien colossus. The novel was a monumental international success and blockbuster bestseller. He followed this with the 10-volume, single story 1.2-million-word science fiction satire, Mission Earth. Battlefield Earth and Mission Earth together dominated North American bestseller lists for 153 weeks. His culminating works of science fiction -- Battlefield Earth and Mission Earth -- blazed new paths in the landscape of modern speculative fiction literature.

L. Ron Hubbard's literary output ultimately encompassed more than 260 published novels, novelletes, short stories and screenplays in every genre.

Mr. Hubbard passed away in 1986, but his literary legacy lives on indelibly in works that continue to reverberate down through generations and millions of readers, making him one of the most widely read and highly acclaimed writers of our time.

Of major interest to fans of LRH is the L. Ron Hubbard Exhibition on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. There are also the L. Ron Hubbard Houses in Washington, D.C., Phoenix, London and Johannesburg, SA. While these former are landmarks meaningful to Scientologists, they also provide facets of his literary legacy.

Over the years LRH has received countless awards -- a recent one was the dedication of a Los Angeles street in his name: L. Ron Hubbard Way.

Galaxy Press, in addition to keeping the LRH novels in print, also reprints many of the his pulp stories in a modern pulp-type format available at all major newstands and bookstores. 

"Story Vitality" An article for writers by L. Ron Hubbard ~ See Writers of the Future Herald

The writings of L. Ron Hubbard are available at:
Pulps ~ Audio Books ~ Best-Selling Novels ~ Writers of the Future Anthologies

Dedication of L. Ron Hubbard Way


ERB subdivided much of his land and created advertising  encouraging free thinkers to move to the new development. In a promotional booklet he wrote: "I invite you to choose your home-site and become my neighbor, enjoying with me the peace and beauty that is Tarzana. Here you may build the home of our dreams -- and expression of your own individuality, embodying in an artistic whole those practical features which make a home livable as well as beautiful. . ." Ed had many friends and film business associates in nearby Hollywood, who were often invited to Tarzana parties. For a time, the entire valley attended regular Friday night dance parties and  showings of feature films at Ed's newly constructed theatre/ballroom. His short-lived dream was to encourage free thinkers and artists to gather on and near Tarzana ranch. Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzana Ranch is now the site of the City of Tarzana -- a thriving suburb of Los Angeles, and home to many Hollywood and entertainment celebrities.

While it would appear that ERB's antipathy towards organized religion and LRH's impetus to start and organize a religion might be paradoxical, ultimately, what they are both questioning are the agreements and mechanisms that chain a person to fears and mindless activity. While ERB skewers clergy, he also provides hope of individual spiritual search. Following his lifetime vocation, LRH, suggested that he found a way out of the spiritual ignorance. After the completion of that work, he returned to enjoy his fiction writing career.

Both men also shared pioneering interest in care of the planet and the environment. Examples abound in Hubbard's work: his plant experiments in the early '60s are actually seminal in the genesis of the awareness of plant care; Mission Earth offers a theoretical solution to the ozone problem and The Way of Happiness, "a common sense moral code," advocates care of the planet.

ERB ws a great populizer of environmental factors who was far ahead of his time in appeals for the preservation of nature and wildlife. Due largely to the iconic characters - Tarzan and John Carter of Mars - created almost 100 years ago, there has never been a time when all or at least a large number of ERB books have been out of print -- and the books are translated into every major language. In fact, in the 1960s there was an unprecedented boom revival of his works. It was a time when one in every twenty paperbacks on newstands were Burroughs titles.

New Tarzan films have appeared regularly since 1918. Tarzan has been reinvented many times and has adapted well to all media in every decade. Disney has promoted the character in many guises: animated films, TV series, merchandising, theme park attractions, and international licensing of "Tarzan the Musical." The character is still alive in book reprints, comics, Sunday pages, computer games, and a new live action film now in preproduction. Tarzan is one of the best-known and widely recognized characters worldwide. The characters from ERB's first novel will soon be featured in a major Pixar release since they are working on a "John Carter and the Princess of Mars" film.

There are major private Burroughs collections found in many countries. The largest institutional collection is the Edgar Rice Burroughs Memorial Collection at the University of Louisville, of which George McWhorter is curator. Mr. McWhorter was also instrumental in reviving the Burroughs Bibliophiles which had originally been organized by Vern Coriell while ERB was still alive. Mr. McWhorter is also publisher of the Burroughs Bulletin, a glossy, fully illustrated 34-page quarterly fanzine as well a monthly newsletter, The Gridley Wave.

The official ERB, Inc. Websites, Web pages and Webzines devoted to the life and works of Edgar Rice Burroughs number over ten thousand -- as far as we know more than those representing any other author on the Internet - past or present.


The Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs on the Web
ERBzine Weekly Webzine
Danton Burroughs Website: Tarzana Treasure Vaults
Burroughs Bibliophiles
John Coleman Burroughs Tribute Site
Tarzine: Official Monthly Webzine of ERB, Inc.

Weekly Webzine

Weekly Webzine

Despite the common grounds, there was a paradoxical quality between ERB and LRH that is at least metaphorically expressed in the fact that ERB's ashes were buried on his California property and LRH's ashes were cast into the Pacific Ocean.

L. Ron Hubbard died on January 24th, 1986, eight days after a fatal stroke near Creston, CA. Mr. Hubbard passed away in 1986, but his literary legacy lives on indelibly in works that continue to reverberate down through generations and millions of readers, making him one of the most widely read and highly acclaimed writers of our time.

Edgar Rice Burroughs died on March 19, 1950. He was cremated at the Chapel of the Pines in Los Angeles.  ERB's ashes are buried close to his mother's under the towering black walnut tree in front of the ERB, Inc. offices in his beloved Tarzana.

New York Times Obituary
Death Claims Noted Author "Tarzan" Novelist Victim of Illness: Author Edgar Rice Burroughs, 74, creator of the noted fictional figure Tarzan, which has brought him millions in publication and film rights, died yesterday morning at 8:55 a.m. in his Encino home at 5565 Zelzah Ave. Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose own twist on the theory of evolution -- Tarzan -- brought riches that Darwin never dreamed of, is dead. More>>>

March 21 AP ~ News Release Tarzana, Cal.:
Business establishments in this San Fernando Valley community will close for one hour today during the funeral of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the town's founder and creator of the fabulous fictional character, Tarzan. The millionaire author died peacefully at his home Sunday. He was 74. A private funeral will be conducted today at the Tarzana home of a son, John Coleman Burroughs. Cremation will follow. 

Near the end he had said, 

"If there is a hereafter, I want to travel through space to visit the other planets."

LRH in His Later Years

ERB: Sunset Over the Pacific

ERB Visiting a Tarzan Set in Wheelchair - 1950

Both writers have left indelible stamps on the culture, enjoyed immense worldwide popularity and financial success but have been denied the degree of critical acclaim and recognition commensurate with their wide acceptance and appeal. Burroughs, especially, has been ignored by academia. Despite having sold countless millions of books in scores of different languages, and being a major cultural influence, Burroughs is either derided or ignored by most university English departments. He once complained: "It must be wonderful to be able to devote one's life to art for art's sake, a luxury which I have never been able to afford." The bodies of work of these two amazing authors are impressive, however, as a study of their bibliographies will attest. The reason for this might be surmised but it most likely lies in the theme expressed in William Bolitho's introduction of Twelve Against the Gods (one of LRH's favorite writings). Its essence is: "The progress of humanity, whatever its mysterious direction, is not motored by mere momentum. Let ethics make what it can of it. There is therefor a sociological role of adventure; necessarily an accidental one, since it is in itself non-social. History is jolted along with great breaches of law and order, by adventures and adventurers. . . Society's benefactor as well as pest. . . . What follows is intended, then, a little to elucidate history; more to illustrate it, to honor without hypocrisy the deeds of men and women whose destiny was larger, if not deeper than our own. . . ."

ERB and LRH are among the adventurers, visionaries and artists who have "jolted history along" with their destinies which were, "larger, if not deeper than our own." They have enriched our lives and will continue to do so with their adventurous works.






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Part II
Part III
Part IV
Hubbard Library

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