Investors Business Daily: Burroughs Turned Tarzan into Multi-Media Sensation

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan, The Tarzan Files

From Investor Business Daily
At 35, Edgar Rice Burroughs had a resume full of failure.

He flunked the West Point entrance exam and then was booted out of the Army for a weak heart.

He drifted from job to job, working as a railway cop and selling pencil sharpeners.

With time to spare, he began reading pulp magazines and realized he could create better stories.

In 1912, his first tales about Tarzan of the Apes and John Carter of Mars were published.

Since then, his novels have sold 100 million copies, as many as Lewis Carroll, Anne Rice, Ian Fleming and Ken Follett.

Burroughs (1875-1950) grew up in Chicago, the son of a Civil War veteran and prosperous businessman, with a mother who had a staff of three. It was a proper Victorian household, and Edgar was expected to do well at everything.

He didn’t. From an early age his mind wandered from his studies to writing poetry and drawing humorous sketches. He was often out of school because of illness.

Read the full article at Investor Business Daily


  • “But he was proud of what he created and very practical, so if the latest movie does fail, he would focus on setting up deals for a John Carter video game, a series on Cartoon Network and an app for the iPad.”

    I wish ERB’s heirs had a more proactive approach to mechandising over the years, I would have been a happy customer! In our days, being just “guardians of the temple” is not enough.

  • Hmmm… probably stowed in a vault at ERB, Inc. Someday perhaps. It would be a kick to see even that little bit of how he viewed his own life.

  • MIchael and Abe, wouldn’t you love to read (as I would) ERB’s incomplete and unpublished autobiography that he abandoned after 15,000 words? I keep dreaming and hoping that someday . . .

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