Edgar Rice Burroughs Biography

Edgar Rice Burroughs Biography

Edgar Rice Burroughs created one of pop literature’s most enduring characters—Tarzan. Burroughs studied at several military schools as a youngster, including Philips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and the Michigan Military Academy. But after failing to gain entrance into West Point, he enlisted in the army, only to be discharged early because of a heart problem. He then had a series of odd jobs for several years before deciding to write. After reading several popular stories in pulp magazines, he was determined to create something even more entertaining. Thus was Tarzan born. Though Burroughs did write many other stories, especially science fiction such as The Land That Time Forgot, he continued to capitalize on the Tarzan franchise, eventually turning the heroic man-ape into a cultural icon.

Facts and Trivia

  • Burroughs was working as a pencil-sharpener wholesaler when he first started writing his Tarzan novels.
  • In 1923, he set up his own company—Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.—and began printing his own books. By doing so, he was able to make a good deal of money, even throughout the Great Depression.
  • During the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Burroughs was living in Hawaii. He became the oldest war correspondent for the United States during World War II.
  • In 1919, Burroughs bought a ranch near Los Angeles and named it Tarzana. The name was popular with local residents, who voted to rename the town Tarzana in 1928.
  • Burroughs wrote roughly seventy novels before his death in 1950.
  • There is a crater on Mars named after him.
Additional Content
  • Biography (20th-Century Biographies)
  • Biography (Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)
  • Biography
  • Bibliography (Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

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