TARZAN! The very name of the Jungle Lord sends
a thrill through you when you think of his adventures in the shadowy forest,
of his strange power over the apes and other animals. But who is the creator
His name is Edgar Rice Burroughs. He writes on a great
estate called Tarzana -- name, of course, for his jungle hero -- in the
hills north of Los Angeles, California. His picture is shown in the opposite
He was born in Chicago, the son of an army officer,
and he was educated at the old Harvard School in Chicago, at Phillips Academy,
Andover, Mass., and at Michigan Military Academy. Raised to be a soldier,
he failed to pass entrance examinations for West Point and so he
enlisted in the 7th U. S. Cavalry at Fort Grand, Arizona. Following his
army service, he was a cowboy, military school instructor, bill collector,
storekeeper, storage battery workman, gold dredger, railroad policeman,
book salesman, pencil sharpener agent, trade magazine writer and magazine
In fact, before he found that he could write the Tarzan
stories, he had failed at eighteen jobs and was down to half-soling his
own shoes and lunching on three cents' worth of ginger snaps a day. When
he got married, in 1900, he was earning $15 a week.
Despite hard going in a financial way Mr. Burroughs
clung to his magazine job, and nights, Sundays and holidays wrote his first
novel called "The Princess of Mars," which he sold for $400.
Still he continued to write and soon he had produced
"Tarzan of the Apes," written with a pencil in longhand on the backs of
old letterheads and pieces of scrap paper. Editors were not much interested
in the story. They did not think it was very good. All the leading publishers
rejected it and it was eventually sold as a magazine serial for $700.
There followed "The God of Mars" and "The Return of
Tarzan," both of which suddenly found wide popularity and led to the publication
of "Tarzan of the Apes" as a bound book.
Now the reading public, awakened, demanded more Tarzan
stories. Mr. Burroughs and his jungle hero were gaining wider and wider
notice. Mr. Burroughs continued to write.
Close to 10,000,000 of Mr. Burroughs's books have been
sold and they have been translated into sixteen different languages. At
one time an English newspaper reported that Edgar Rice Burroughs was far
and away the most popular writer in England, his sales exceeding those
of Bernard Shaw, John Galsworthy, H. G. Wells and Arnold Bennett combined.
His stories have been translated into French, Arabic, Polish, Spanish,
Italian, German, Danish, Finnish, Czecho-Slovakian, Hungarian, Urdu, Russian,
Norwegian, Swedish, Japanese and Rumanian.
The business from his stories is so extensive that
Mr. Burroughs has incorporated himself as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., to
handle his properties.
Meanwhile he keeps on working. But for relaxation he
rides horses, plays tennis or drives a high-powered automobile. To overcome
an aversion for the air he made himself take flying lessons and now he
is a competent solo flier. However, he never lets anything interfere with
his daily routine of writing new and more fascinating stories.
And the long list of his innumerable friends throughout
the world continues to grow.