Edgar Rice Burroughs

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Edgar Rice Burroughs

Birthplace: Chicago, IL, USA
Death: Died in Encino, CA, United States
Cause of death: Heart Ailment
Immediate Family:

Son of George Tyler Burroughs and Mary Evanline Burroughs
Husband of Florence Ella Burroughs
Ex-husband of Emma Centenia Burroughs and <private> Gilbert
Father of Joan Pierce; Hulbert Burroughs; John Coleman Burroughs; <private> Burroughs and <private> Burroughs
Brother of Frank Coleman Burroughs; Henry Studley Burroughs and George Tyler Burroughs, Jr.

Occupation: Instructor; Store Owner; Author, "Tarzan" novels, best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic Mars adventurer John Carter
Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Edgar Rice Burroughs

Edgar Rice Burroughs was the author of Tarzan of the Apes, John Carter of Mars, and many other novels.


Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in Chicago, Illinois, into a prosperous family. His father, George Tyler Burroughs, was a Civil War veteran. To glamourize his own origins, Burroughs has claimed that he was born in Peking at the time that his father was military advicer to the Empress of China, and lived there, in the Forbidden City, until Burroughs was ten years old. Burroughs attended several private schools, including the Michigan Military Academy, Orchar Lake (1892-95), where he was instructor and assistant commandant (1895-96). He served in the 7th Cavalry in the Arizona Territory (1896-97) and Illinois Reserve Militia (1918-19). During this period he met and heard stories of men who had fought the Sioux and Apache. After his military career Burroughs was owner of a stationery store in Pocatello, Idaho (1898), had dealings with the American Battery Company, Chicago (1899-03). In 1900 he married Emma Centennia Hulbert (divorced in 1934); they had two sons and one daughter).

For the next ten years the family lived in near poverty. Burroughs was associated with Sweetser-Burroughs Mining Company in Idaho (1903-04), was a railroad policeman in Salt Lake, Utah (1904), a manager of a stenographic department at Sears, Roebuck and Company in Chicago (1906-08), a partner of an advertising agency (1908-09), an office manager (1909), a partner of a sales firm (1910-11). In 1910-11 Burroughs worked for Champlain Yardley Company, and from 1912 to 1913 he was manager of System Service Bureau.

Before Tarzan, Burroughs led a life full of failures. The turning point came when he started to write for pulps at the age of 35 - firmly convinced that he could write as rotten stuff as was published in pulp fiction magazines. His first professional sale was 'Under the Moons of Mars', serialized in 1912. It introduced the popular invincible hero John Carter. He is transported to Mars apparently by astral projection, following a battle with Apaches in Arizona. Carter's adventures were published in book form under the title A PRINCESS OF MARS in 1917. The 'Martian' series eventually reached eleven books. Other popular series from Burroughs's pen were The Carson of Venus books, blending romance and comedy, the Pellucidar tales, located inside the Earth, and The Land That Time Forgot trilogy - totalling some 68 titles.

Burroughs's first successful story was 'Dejah Thoris, Princess of Mars' which appeared in 1912 in All-Story Magazine. A few months later in 1912 his breakthrough novel TARZAN OF THE APES appeared, followed by 24 other Tarzan adventures. If I had striven for long years of privation and effort to fit myself to become a writer, Burroughs later told, I might be warranted in patting myself on the back, but God knows I did not work and still do not understand how I happened to succeed. In 1913 Burroughs founded his own publishing house Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Burroughs-Tarzan Enterprises and Burroughs-Tarzan Pictures were founded in 1934.

In addition to his four major adventure series, Burroughs wrote between the years 1912 and 1933 several other adventure novels, among them THE CAVE GIRL (1925), in which a weak aristocrat develops into a warrior, two Western novels about a white Apache, THE WAR CHIEF (1927) and APACHE DEVIL (1933), showing sympathy for Native Americans, and BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR (1964), a science-fiction novel about the brutality of war. Burrough's science fiction novels are full of a sense of adventure. They take the reader on a fantastic voyage to chart strange and unfamiliar lands as Homer did in his Odyssey. THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT (1924) is a Darwinist story set on a mysterious island near the South Pole, where dinosaurs and other primitive species have survived. It consists of three novellettes, 'The Land That Time Forgot', 'The People That Time Forgot', and 'Out of Time's Abyss'.

In 1919 Burroughs purchased a large ranch in the San Fernando Valley, which he later developed into the suburb of Tarzana. To pay for his expensive lifestyle and to cover his misadventures in financial investments he wrote an average of three novels a year. The first Tarzan film was produced in 1918, When the Olympic swimming champion Johnny Weissmuller took the role in the 1930s, the films became really popular.

In 1933 Burroughs was elected mayor of California Beach. He married in 1935 Florence Dearholt (they divorced in 1942). During World War II, Burroughs served at the age of 66 as a war correspondent in the South Pacific. He also wrote columns ('Laugh It Off) for Honolulu Advertiser (1941-42, 1945). Burroughs died of a heart ailment on March 19, in 1950, while reading a comic book in bed. - [1]

[1] - http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/erburrou.htm


Edgar Rice Burroughs (September 1, 1875 – March 19, 1950) was an American author, best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic Mars adventurer John Carter, although he produced works in many genres.

Burroughs was born on September 1, 1875, in Chicago (he later lived for many years in the neighboring suburb of Oak Park), the fourth son of a businessman and Civil war veteran, Major George Tyler Burroughs (1833–1913) and his wife Mary Evaline (Zieger) Burroughs (1840–1920). He was educated at a number of local schools, and during the Chicago influenza epidemic in 1891, he spent a half year at his brother's ranch on the Raft River in Idaho. He then attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and then the Michigan Military Academy. Graduating in 1895, and failing the entrance exam for the United States Military Academy (West Point), he ended up as an enlisted soldier with the 7th U.S. Cavalry in Fort Grant, Arizona Territory. After being diagnosed with a heart problem and thus found ineligible for a commission, he was discharged in 1897.[1]

What followed was a string of seemingly unrelated and short stint jobs. Following a period of drifting and ranch work in Idaho, Burroughs found work at his father's firm in 1899. He married Emma Centennia Hulbert on January 1, 1900. They had three children: Joan Burroughs (Mrs. James Pierce) (1908–1972), Hulbert Burroughs (1909–1991) and John Coleman Burroughs (1913–1979). In 1904 he left his job and found less regular work, initially in Idaho but soon back in Chicago.[2]

By 1911, after seven years of low wages, he was working as a pencil sharpener wholesaler and began to write fiction. By this time Burroughs and Emma had two children, Joan and Hulbert.[3] During this period, he had copious spare time and he began reading many pulp fiction magazines and has since claimed:

"...if people were paid for writing rot such as I read in some of those magazines, that I could write stories just as rotten. As a matter of fact, although I had never written a story, I knew absolutely that I could write stories just as entertaining and probably a whole lot more so than any I chanced to read in those magazines."

Aiming his work at these pulp fiction magazines, his first story "Under the Moons of Mars" was serialized in All-Story Magazine in 1912[4][5] and earned Burroughs US $400 (roughly the equivalent of US $8779.47 in 2009).

Burroughs soon took up writing full-time and by the time the run of Under the Moons of Mars had finished he had completed two novels, including Tarzan of the Apes, which was published from October 1912 and went on to begin his most successful series. In 1913, Burroughs and Emma had their third and last child, John Coleman.

Burroughs also wrote popular science fiction and fantasy stories involving Earthly adventurers transported to various planets (notably Barsoom, Burroughs' fictional name for Mars, and Amtor, his fictional name for Venus), lost islands, and into the interior of the hollow earth in his Pellucidar stories, as well as westerns and historical romances. Along with All-Story, many of his stories were published in the Argosy Magazine.

Tarzan was a cultural sensation when introduced. Burroughs was determined to capitalize on Tarzan's popularity in every way possible. He planned to exploit Tarzan through several different media including a syndicated Tarzan comic strip, movies and merchandise. Experts in the field advised against this course of action, stating that the different media would just end up competing against each other. Burroughs went ahead, however, and proved the experts wrong—the public wanted Tarzan in whatever fashion he was offered. Tarzan remains one of the most successful fictional characters to this day and is a cultural icon.

In either 1915 or 1919, Burroughs purchased a large ranch north of Los Angeles, California, which he named "Tarzana." The citizens of the community that sprang up around the ranch voted to adopt that name when their town, Tarzana, Calif. was formed in either 1927 or 1928.

Also the unincorporated community of Tarzan, Texas, was formally named in 1927 when the postal service accepted the name[6], reputedly coming from the popularity of the first (silent) Tarzan of the Apes film, starring Elmo Lincoln, and an early "Tarzan" comic strip.

In 1923 Burroughs set up his own company, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and began printing his own books through the 1930s.

Burroughs divorced Emma in 1934 and married the former actress Florence Gilbert Dearholt in 1935, the former wife of his friend, Ashton Dearholt, and Burroughs adopted the Dearholts' two children. This couple divorced in 1942.[7]

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Burroughs was a resident of Hawaii and, despite being in his late sixties, he applied for permission to become a war correspondent. This permission was granted, and so he became one of the oldest war correspondents for the U.S. during World War II. After the war ended, Burroughs moved back to Encino, California, where, after many health problems, he died of a heart attack on March 19, 1950, having written almost seventy novels.[8]

The Burroughs crater on Mars is named in his honor.


Edgar Rice Burroughs was a descendant of Edmund Rice, an English immigrant to Massachusetts Bay Colony, as follows:[9][10]

Edgar Rice Burroughs, son of

Capt. George Tyler Burroughs (Oct 13, 1833 – Feb 15, 1913), son of

Mary Rice (Jul 12, 1802 – ?), daughter of

Thomas Rice (May 30, 1767 – Jul 18, 1847)[11], son of

Capt. Tilly Rice (Nov 8, 1724 – Nov 6, 1803), son of

Obadiah Rice (Nov 13, 1698 – ?), son of

Jacob Rice (Feb 2, 1660 – Oct 30, 1746), son of

Edward Rice (1622 – Aug 15, 1712), son of

Edmund Rice (1594 – May 3, 1663)

Selected bibliography:

Barsoom series

A Princess of Mars (1912) (Project Gutenberg Entry: [1]) (LibriVox.org Audio Book)

The Gods of Mars (1914) (Project Gutenberg Entry:[2]) (LibriVox.org Audio Book)

The Warlord of Mars (1918) (Project Gutenberg Entry:[3]) (LibriVox.org Audio Book)

Thuvia, Maid of Mars (1920) (Project Gutenberg Entry:[4]) (LibriVox.org Audio Book)

The Chessmen of Mars (1922) (Project Gutenberg Entry:[5]) (LibriVox.org Audio Book)

The Master Mind of Mars (1928) (Project Gutenberg Australia Entry:[6])

A Fighting Man of Mars (1931) (Project Gutenberg Australia Entry:[7])

Swords of Mars (1936) (Project Gutenberg Australia Entry:[8])

Synthetic Men of Mars (1940) (Project Gutenberg Australia Entry:[9])

Llana of Gathol (1948) (Project Gutenberg Australia Entry:[10])

John Carter of Mars (1964)

"John Carter and the Giant of Mars" (1940) (Project Gutenberg Australia Entry:[11]) Actually written by Burroughs's son, John Coleman Burroughs.

"Skeleton Men of Jupiter" (1942) (Project Gutenberg Australia Entry:[12])

Tarzan series

Main article: Tarzan

Tarzan of the Apes (1912) (Project Gutenberg Ebook) (LibriVox.org Audio Book)

The Return of Tarzan (1913) (Ebook) (LibriVox.org Audio Book)

The Beasts of Tarzan (1914) (Ebook) (LibriVox.org Audio Book)

The Son of Tarzan (1914) (Ebook) (LibriVox.org Audio Book)

Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar (1916) (Ebook) (LibriVox.org Audio Book)

Jungle Tales of Tarzan (1916, 1917) (Ebook) (LibriVox.org Audio Book)

Tarzan the Untamed (1919, 1921) (Ebook)

Tarzan the Terrible (1921) (Ebook)

Tarzan and the Golden Lion (1922, 1923) (Project Gutenberg Australia-ebook)

Tarzan and the Ant Men (1924) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle (1927, 1928) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Tarzan and the Lost Empire (1928) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Tarzan at the Earth's Core (1929) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Tarzan the Invincible (1930-1931.)(Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Tarzan Triumphant (1931) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Tarzan and the City of Gold (1932) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Tarzan and the Lion Man (1933, 1934) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Tarzan and the Leopard Men (1935) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Tarzan's Quest (1935, 1936) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Tarzan the Magnificent (1936, 1937) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Tarzan and the Forbidden City (1938) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Tarzan and the Foreign Legion (1947) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins (1963, for younger readers) (Tarzan Twins-ebook;Tarzan Twins, with Jad-Bal-Ja, the Golden Lion-ebook)

Tarzan and the Madman (1964)

Tarzan and the Castaways (1965) (Text of Tarzan and the Castaways)

Tarzan: the Lost Adventure (with Joe R. Lansdale) (1995)

[edit] Pellucidar series

Main article: Pellucidar

At the Earth's Core (1914) (Project Gutenberg Ebook Librivox Audiobook)

Pellucidar (1923) (Project GutenbergGutenberg ebook Librivox Audiobook)

Tanar of Pellucidar (1928) (Gutenberg Au-Ebook Librivox Audiobook)

Tarzan at the Earth's Core (1929) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Back to the Stone Age (1937) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Land of Terror (1944) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Savage Pellucidar (1963) (Gutenberg Au-ebook)

Venus series

Pirates of Venus (1934)

Lost on Venus (1935)

Carson of Venus (1939)

Escape on Venus (1946)

The Wizard of Venus (1970)

[edit] Caspak series

The Land That Time Forgot (1918) (Gutenberg Ebook Librivox Audiobook)

The People That Time Forgot (1918) (Gutenberg Ebook) Librivox Audiobook

Out of Time’s Abyss (1918) (Gutenberg Ebook Librivox Audiobook)

Moon series

The Moon Maid (1926) (aka The Moon Men)

Part I: The Moon Maid

Part II: The Moon Men

Part III: The Red Hawk

These three texts have been published by various houses in one or two volumes. Adding to the confusion, some editions have the original (significantly longer) introduction to Part I from the first publication as a magazine serial, and others have the shorter version from the first book publication, which included all three parts under the title The Moon Maid.[12]

Mucker series

The Mucker (1914) (Project Gutenberg Entry: [13])

The Return of the Mucker (1916) (Project Gutenberg Entry: [14])

The Oakdale Affair (1917) (Project Gutenberg Entry: [15])

[edit] Other science fiction

Beyond the Farthest Star (1941) (Project Gutenberg (AU) Entry: [16])

The Lost Continent (1916) (aka Beyond Thirty) (Project Gutenberg Entry: [17])

The Monster Men (1929) (Project Gutenberg Entry: [18])

The Resurrection of Jimber-Jaw (1937) (Project Gutenberg Entry: [19])

Jungle adventure novels

The Man-Eater (1915)

The Cave Girl (1925)

The Eternal Lover (1925) (aka The Eternal Savage)

Jungle Girl (1932) (aka Land of the Hidden Men)

The Lad and the Lion (1938)

[edit] Western novels

Apache Devil (1933)

The Bandit of Hell's Bend (1926)

The Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County (1940)

The War Chief (1927)

Historical novels

I am a Barbarian (1967)

The Outlaw of Torn (1927) (Project Gutenberg Entry: [20])

[edit] Other works

The Efficiency Expert (1921) (Project Gutenberg Entry: [21])

Forgotten Tales of Love and Murder (2001) (publisher link)

The Girl from Farris's (1916)

The Girl from Hollywood (1923)

The Mad King (1926) (Project Gutenberg Entry: [22])

Marcia of the Doorstep (1999)

Minidoka: 937th Earl of One Mile Series M (1998)

Pirate Blood (1970)

The Rider (1937)

You Lucky Girl! (1999)

Popular culture

In the video game Jurassic Park: Trespasser there is a statue of E. R. Burroughs, possibly as a reference to his novel The Land That Time Forgot.

In Rainbow Mars by Larry Niven, several different fictional Martian races appear, including a people who are a combination of the Red Martians of Edgar Rice Burroughs and those by Ray Bradbury, and another who are unmistakably Burroughs' big fierce Green Martians.

In the Mars Trilogy novels of Kim Stanley Robinson the original capital city on Mars is named Burroughs as a sort of tribute. It is later flooded.

Season 1, Episode 29 of Disney's The Legend of Tarzan animated series, Tarzan and the Mysterious Visitor, illustrates Burroughs as a struggling writer who travels to Africa after learning about Tarzan in the hopes of getting inspiration for a new novel. (Notably, though, the real Burroughs never set foot in Africa.) The character is only referred to as "Ed" throughout the episode and his true identity isn't revealed until his name is shown on his book.

The 1980 novel The Number of the Beast, by Robert A. Heinlein featured characters named Zebediah John Carter, Jacob Burroughs, and Dejah Thoris Burroughs in homage to Burroughs' Mars novels. Among other things, these and the other main characters travel to various alternate universes, including Barsoom, Oz and Wonderland. The protagonist of Heinlein's Glory Road muses on Barsoom in one passage.

The Marvel Comics book Excalibur created by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis paid a tribute to the John Carter stories in issue #16 and 17. The story was billed on the cover of issue #16 as "Kurt Wagner Warlord of ?". The series added a further tribute with issue #60 and the story "Braddock of the jungle".

In The Alternate Martians (Ace, 1965) A. Bertram Chandler explored a fictional Mars curiously combining characters, including Deliah (for Dejah) Thoris and Tars Tarkas, and characteristics of Burroughs's Barsoom with the malevolent Martians of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells.

In Frank Frazetta's Creatures published by the Frazetta Comics imprint at Image Burroughs appears as a member of a group of supernatural investigators led by former US president Theodore Roosevelt.

In Rocky II, Rocky reads "The Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County" to Adrian while she is in a coma.

In the TV series ER, the character played by Noah Wyle is usually called simply Carter, but his full name is John Carter. The creator of ER, Michael Crichton, has cited the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs as an early influence, thus this homage.

In Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, John Carter appears twice. He teams up with H. Rider Haggard's Allan Quartermain, H. P. Lovecraft's Randolph Carter, and Wells' Time Traveller on a strange journey in the supplemental Allan and the Sundered Veil. Later, he is seen leading the Green Martians in a battle against Wells' Martian invaders.

Books on Edgar Rice Burroughs

Master of Adventure: The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs by Richard A. Lupoff

Tarzan Forever: The Life of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Creator of Tarzan by John Taliaferro

Golden Anniversary Bibliography of Edgar Rice Burroughs by the Rev. Henry Hardy Heins

Tarzan Alive by Philip Jose Farmer

Burroughs's Science Fiction by Robert R. Kudlay and Joan Leiby

Tarzan and Tradition and Edgar Rice Burroughs by Erling B. Holtsmark

Edgar Rice Burroughs by Irwin Porges

Edgar Rice Burroughs by Robert B. Zeuschner

The Burroughs Cyclopædia ed. by Clark A. Brady

A Guide to Barsoom by John Flint Roy

Edgar Rice Burroughs was the author of Tarzan of the Apes, John Carter of Mars, and many other novels.

Wikipedia page:


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Edgar Rice Burroughs's Timeline

September 1, 1875
Chicago, IL, USA
January 12, 1908
Age 32
August 12, 1909
Age 33
February 28, 1913
Age 37