This year, May 1st is the fifth anniversary of the death longtime keeper of the Burroughs flame Danton Burroughs, grandson of Edgar Rice Burroughs who died on this date in 2008. I knew Danton well and treasured my friendship with him, but there are countless more among the ERB faithful who knew him longer and better than I. In my case, my good fortune was that when I met him for the first time, with a little nudge from Bill Hillman at ERBzine, I wrote about that first wonderful evening in an article that I’d like to share on his death anniversary.
Before I get to that — a word about Danton’s manner of passing, which was recorded in the LA Times as follows:
Tarzan creator’s heir protected the legacy
Danton Burroughs, who spent his life marketing and protecting the work of his grandfather, Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs, died May 1 at his home in Tarzana, the San Fernando Valley community named after his ancestor’s most famous fictional character. He was 63. Burroughs, who had been battling Parkinson’s disease, died of heart failure a day after a fire at his home destroyed a room filled with family memorabilia.
What the article didn’t say was that Danton, who suffered from chronic asthma in addition to Parkinsons, refused to leave what was essentially the smoldering ruins of the treasure trove of memorabilia he had worked so hard, and so lovingly, to protect. The doctor’s urged him to get away from the smoke, give his lungs a break, but he refused.
The LA Times had it right. He did die of heart failure, just not the kind the writer of the obituary had in mind.
If you have a minute — do read
which includes some great photos as well.
My personal recollections pale beside the many wonderful pages maintained by Bill Hillman/ERBzine remembering Danton: