Edgar Rice Burroughs - Creator of Tarzan, Family and Personal Life

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Edgar Rice Burroughs's Personal Details

Edgar Rice Burroughs was an American writer, well-known for the popular character of ‘Tarzan’

InformationDetail
BirthdaySeptember 1, 1875
Died onMarch 19, 1950
NationalityAmerican
FamousCreator of Tarzan, Writers, Novelists
SpousesEmma Hulbert, Florence Gilbert
Known asNormal Bean, Norman Bean, E.R.Burroughs, Edgar Burroughs
Childrens Hulbert Burroughs, Joan Burroughs, John Coleman Burroughs
Universities
  • Phillips Academy
  • Michigan Military Academy
Founder / Co-Founder
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Inc.
Birth PlaceChicago
GenderMale
FatherMajor George Tyler Burroughs
MotherMary Evaline Zieger Burroughs
Sun SignVirgo
Born inChicago
Famous asCreator of Tarzan
Died at Age74

// Famous Creator of Tarzan

Edgar Rice Burroughs's photo

Who is Edgar Rice Burroughs?

He once quoted in an interview ‘I write to escape…to escape poverty’. After trying his hand in a dozen different jobs, little did Edgar Rice Burroughs know that destiny had a prospering future in his writing. After a series of failures in almost all jobs and ventures he tried, he created a masterpiece, which, till date, continues to entertain kids and adults alike. Just a browse through pulp magazines that published rot material, his decision to write fiction (termed rotten by himself) changed his life forever. His creation of the Apeman, Tarzan, belonging to the jungles of Africa, and his wife, Jane was received largely and accepted across the America, and later, all over the world. Today, it is considered to be the most successful fictional character ever created and adored by Tarzan fans. He, then, continued writing on varied areas, including social commentaries, detective stories, westerns, historical romances, Earthly adventures, and tales of the Moon, including numerous Tarzan books. His hard work and determination to provide financial support to his family enabled him to develop an idea which, still, remains unusual and ingenious.

// Famous Novelists

Childhood & Early Life

Burroughs was born on September 1, 1875 in Chicago, Illinois, as the fourth son to Major George Tyler Burroughs, who served in the Union army during the Civil War, and Mary Evaline Zieger Burroughs.

He received his formal education at various public and private schools, due to the outbreak of various deadly diseases. He learnt Greek and Latin, and later English composition.

In 1891, when the influenza epidemic broke out, his parents sent him to Idaho, where two of his brothers, Harry and George, were running a ranch at the Raft River.

His parents called him back after six months and sent him to Philips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where he was expelled after the first semester due to his rebellious acts against the existing curriculum.

To get him disciplined, his father sent him to Michigan Military Academy, Orchard Lake, in 1892, where he made another attempt to escape in the first year, but gradually found the atmosphere favorable and graduated in 1895.

Career

After graduating, he worked as an instructor and assistant commandant where he taught geology, cavalry, and Gatling gun for a brief period.

He prepared for the United States Military Academy (West Point) entrance examination, but failed to clear and was hence, deployed in the ‘B’ Troop of the 7th US Cavalry at Fort Grant, Arizona Territory.

Just before being promoted to officer grade, he was diagnosed with a heart murmur during a routine medical check-up and discharged off his duties in 1897.

He opened a stationery store in Idaho, went to Snake River ranch to his brothers, joined his father in Chicago at the American Battery Company in 1899 and returned to his brothers’ gold dredging business, but felt dissatisfied.

In 1904, he went to Salt Lake City, Utah, and worked as a railroad policeman. He worked with Champlain Yardley Company in 1910 and System Service Bureau in 1912, but was heavily frustrated and depressed, and saw only failures.

He became a lead pencil sharpener wholesaler, where he was struck by the idea of writing fiction after browsing through pulp all-fiction magazines.

In 1912, he wrote his first serialized story ‘A Princess of Mars’ under the title ‘Under The Moons of Mars’ which was published in ‘The All-Story’ magazine under the pen name, Norman Bean.

The ‘Barsoom’ series in ‘Under the Moons of Mars’ got him $400 as his first pay, which was published as a book in 1917.

After his second novel ‘The Outlaw of Torn’ was rejected by Al-Story’s editor, Thomas Newell Metcalf, he wrote his third fiction ‘Tarzan of the Apes’ in 1912, which earned him $700.

In 1919, when he became financially strong, he moved to San Fernando Valley, California, with his family and bought a large 550-acre estate, later renaming it Tarzana Ranch.

By serving as a war correspondent in the South Pacific, he became one of the oldest American journalists in the World War II, in December 1941, covering news for United Press.

He returned home at the end of the war after suffering many heart attacks and settled in Encino, California.

Major Works

His novel ‘Tarzan of the Apes’, a story about the son of an English nobleman abandoned and raised by apes in the African jungle, became a runaway hit.

Some of his fictional stories included ‘At the Earth’s Core’ (1922), ‘The Land That Time Forgot’ (1924), ‘The Eternal Savage’ (1925), ‘The Cave Girl’ (1925), ‘The War Chief’ (1927), ‘The Monster Men’ (1929), and ‘Pirates of Venus’ (1934).

In 1923, he became one of the first authors to launch his company, Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. and print his own stories and books.

Awards & Achievements

His best-selling adventure novel ‘Tarzan of the Apes’ was released as a silent movie in 1918, starring Elmo Lincoln, and made a record, grossing more than one million dollars.

Ever since the fictional jungle hero, Tarzan, was introduced to the world, 41 films have been produced and 57 one-hour television episodes have been telecast, each one being a major hit.

The first sound Tarzan movie ’Tarzan the Ape Man’ was released by MGM in 1932, featuring Johnny Weissmuller in the lead role.

In 1932, the first radio show on Tarzan adventures was produced, where his daughter played Jane and her husband Tarzan.

A new series featuring half-hour episodes was started in 1951 and aired every Sunday night, which was produced for a year.

During his lifetime, he penned 91 novels, of which 26 were on Tarzan, with millions of copies published and sold in over 34 languages across the world, including Russian, Hebrew and Esperanto.

Personal Life & Legacy

In January 1900, Burroughs married his childhood love, Emma Centennia Hulbert, who traveled with him and supported him during his struggle for over 11 years. The couple had three children - Joan in 1908, Hulbert in 1909 and John Coleman in 1913.

He divorced Emma in 1934, and four months later, married actress and divorcee Florence Gilbert Dearholt, thus adopting her two kids. However, the relationship ended with a divorce in 1941, due to his increased alcoholism habits.

He died on March 19, 1950 at his home in Encino, California, of a heart ailment. His ashes were laid to rest at his corporation headquarters on Ventura Boulevard, under a black walnut tree.

Upon the popularity of the first ‘Tarzan of the Apes’, a community in Texas was named Tarzan in 1927 by US Postal Service.

In 1930, ‘Tarzana’ was voted as the name for the new suburb surrounding the Tarzana Ranch by its residents, upon the establishment of a new post office.

He was honored by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2003.

Trivia

The highly acclaimed ‘Tarzan of the Apes’ was published by A.C. McClurg and Co. after it was rejected by almost all book publishers, and became the best-selling book of 1914.

His war mission on the Pearl Harbor attack is included in the novel ‘Don’t Go Near the Water’, written by William Brinkley.

// Famous Writers

Edgar Rice Burroughs biography timelines

  • // 1st Sep 1875
    Burroughs was born on September 1, 1875 in Chicago, Illinois, as the fourth son to Major George Tyler Burroughs, who served in the Union army during the Civil War, and Mary Evaline Zieger Burroughs.
  • // 1891
    In 1891, when the influenza epidemic broke out, his parents sent him to Idaho, where two of his brothers, Harry and George, were running a ranch at the Raft River.
  • // 1892 To 1895
    To get him disciplined, his father sent him to Michigan Military Academy, Orchard Lake, in 1892, where he made another attempt to escape in the first year, but gradually found the atmosphere favorable and graduated in 1895.
  • // 1897
    Just before being promoted to officer grade, he was diagnosed with a heart murmur during a routine medical check-up and discharged off his duties in 1897.
  • // 1899
    He opened a stationery store in Idaho, went to Snake River ranch to his brothers, joined his father in Chicago at the American Battery Company in 1899 and returned to his brothers’ gold dredging business, but felt dissatisfied.
  • // 1912
    In 1912, he wrote his first serialized story ‘A Princess of Mars’ under the title ‘Under The Moons of Mars’ which was published in ‘The All-Story’ magazine under the pen name, Norman Bean.
  • // 1912
    After his second novel ‘The Outlaw of Torn’ was rejected by Al-Story’s editor, Thomas Newell Metcalf, he wrote his third fiction ‘Tarzan of the Apes’ in 1912, which earned him $700.
  • // 1914
    The highly acclaimed ‘Tarzan of the Apes’ was published by A.C. McClurg and Co. after it was rejected by almost all book publishers, and became the best-selling book of 1914.
  • // 1917
    The ‘Barsoom’ series in ‘Under the Moons of Mars’ got him $400 as his first pay, which was published as a book in 1917.
  • // 1918
    His best-selling adventure novel ‘Tarzan of the Apes’ was released as a silent movie in 1918, starring Elmo Lincoln, and made a record, grossing more than one million dollars.
  • // 1919
    In 1919, when he became financially strong, he moved to San Fernando Valley, California, with his family and bought a large 550-acre estate, later renaming it Tarzana Ranch.
  • // 1923
    In 1923, he became one of the first authors to launch his company, Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. and print his own stories and books.
  • // 1927
    Upon the popularity of the first ‘Tarzan of the Apes’, a community in Texas was named Tarzan in 1927 by US Postal Service.
  • // 1930
    In 1930, ‘Tarzana’ was voted as the name for the new suburb surrounding the Tarzana Ranch by its residents, upon the establishment of a new post office.
  • // 1932
    The first sound Tarzan movie ’Tarzan the Ape Man’ was released by MGM in 1932, featuring Johnny Weissmuller in the lead role.
  • // 1932
    In 1932, the first radio show on Tarzan adventures was produced, where his daughter played Jane and her husband Tarzan.
  • // 1934 To 1941
    He divorced Emma in 1934, and four months later, married actress and divorcee Florence Gilbert Dearholt, thus adopting her two kids. However, the relationship ended with a divorce in 1941, due to his increased alcoholism habits.
  • // Dec 1941
    By serving as a war correspondent in the South Pacific, he became one of the oldest American journalists in the World War II, in December 1941, covering news for United Press.
  • // 19th Mar 1950
    He died on March 19, 1950 at his home in Encino, California, of a heart ailment. His ashes were laid to rest at his corporation headquarters on Ventura Boulevard, under a black walnut tree.
  • // 1951
    A new series featuring half-hour episodes was started in 1951 and aired every Sunday night, which was produced for a year.
  • // 2003
    He was honored by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2003.

// Famous American

Edgar Rice Burroughs's FAQ

  • What is Edgar Rice Burroughs birthday?

    Edgar Rice Burroughs was born at 1875-09-01

  • When was Edgar Rice Burroughs died?

    Edgar Rice Burroughs was died at 1950-03-19

  • Where was Edgar Rice Burroughs died?

    Edgar Rice Burroughs was died in Encino

  • Which age was Edgar Rice Burroughs died?

    Edgar Rice Burroughs was died at age 74

  • Where is Edgar Rice Burroughs's birth place?

    Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in Chicago

  • What is Edgar Rice Burroughs nationalities?

    Edgar Rice Burroughs's nationalities is American

  • Who is Edgar Rice Burroughs spouses?

    Edgar Rice Burroughs's spouses is Emma Hulbert, Florence Gilbert

  • Who is Edgar Rice Burroughs childrens?

    Edgar Rice Burroughs's childrens is Hulbert Burroughs, Joan Burroughs, John Coleman Burroughs

  • What was Edgar Rice Burroughs universities?

    Edgar Rice Burroughs studied at Phillips Academy, Michigan Military Academy

  • Which company or organization was founded by Edgar Rice Burroughs?

    Edgar Rice Burroughs was the founder/co-founder of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.

  • Who is Edgar Rice Burroughs's father?

    Edgar Rice Burroughs's father is Major George Tyler Burroughs

  • Who is Edgar Rice Burroughs's mother?

    Edgar Rice Burroughs's mother is Mary Evaline Zieger Burroughs

  • What is Edgar Rice Burroughs's sun sign?

    Edgar Rice Burroughs is Virgo

  • How famous is Edgar Rice Burroughs?

    Edgar Rice Burroughs is famouse as Creator of Tarzan