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.