Robert Ervin Howard

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Robert Ervin Howard

Birthplace: Peaster, Parker County, TX, United States
Death: June 11, 1936 (30)
Cross Plains, Callahan County, TX, United States (Self-inflicted gunshot)
Place of Burial: Brownwood, Brown County, Texas, U.S
Immediate Family:

Son of Isaac Mordecai Howard and Hester Jane Howard

Occupation: Author of pulp fantasy, fiction and nonfiction stories, Poet, Boxer
Managed by: Marko Kristian Leppänen, Ph.D.
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Robert Ervin Howard

Author of westerns, mysteries, occult and horror stories, he is best known as the creator of Solomon Kane and Conan the Barbarian, thus creating the literary genre known as, “Sword and Sorcery”

Pen pal and collaborater with H. P. Lovecraft

Robert Ervin Howard (January 22, 1906 – June 11, 1936) was an American author who wrote pulp fiction in a diverse range of genres. He is well known for his character Conan the Barbarian and is regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery subgenre.

Howard was born and raised in Texas. He spent most of his life in the town of Cross Plains, with some time spent in nearby Brownwood. A bookish and intellectual child, he was also a fan of boxing and spent some time in his late teens bodybuilding, eventually taking up amateur boxing. From the age of nine he dreamed of becoming a writer of adventure fiction but did not have real success until he was 23. Thereafter, until his death by suicide at age 30, Howard's writings were published in a wide selection of magazines, journals, and newspapers, and he became proficient in several subgenres. His greatest success occurred after his death.

Although a Conan novel was nearly published in 1934, Howard's stories were never collected during his lifetime. The main outlet for his stories was Weird Tales, where Howard created Conan the Barbarian. With Conan and his other heroes, Howard helped fashion the genre now known as sword and sorcery, spawning many imitators and giving him a large influence in the fantasy field. Howard remains a highly-read author, with his best works still reprinted.

Howard's suicide and the circumstances surrounding it have led to speculation about his mental health. His mother had been ill with tuberculosis his entire life, and upon learning she had entered a coma from which she was not expected to wake, he walked out to his car and shot himself in the head.

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Robert Ervin Howard's Timeline

January 22, 1906
Peaster, Parker County, TX, United States
June 11, 1936
Age 30
Cross Plains, Callahan County, TX, United States
June 14, 1936
Age 30
Greenleaf Cemetary, Brownwood, Brown County, Texas, U.S