Edgar Rice Burroughs

School’s, school’s, school’s out and our local library kicked off its summer reading program including the “Teen Challenge”. Which in no way influenced this post. Wink, wink.

I wonder how long it took the parrot to steal the cracker?

I wonder how long it took the parrot to steal the cracker?

Let’s talk about Edgar Rice Burroughs, first of all, I’ve always wondered how rice burrows, but that’s a different topic. Back to Mr. Burroughs, born in 1875, he was one of the most prolific authors of the last century, writing almost 80 novels.

Before he wrote novels, he was short on greenbacks and long on time, so he sold pencil sharpeners and read pulp fiction magazines. In the vein of planting a seed and watching it grow, he decided in 1911 he could write as well or better than the writers he was reading in the pulp fiction magazines. In this case I think the rice burrowed and kick started the magic bean stalk.

Burroughs gave us John Carter and his adventures on Mars—before science fiction even existed. He gave us 26 books about Tarzan. He was the first to publish through multimedia—when everyone said at the time it wouldn’t work. Besides the novels he did comic strips, movies and merchandise. The first Tarzan movie, starring Elmo Lincoln, the first film ever to gross over $1,000,000.  Perhaps he greased the skids for George Lucas? Only speculating.

A staunch advocate for authors’ rights, he was the first author to incorporate to protect his works.

He married twice, divorced twice, and had two children. His daughter, Joan, and one year later his son, Hulbert, named for his mother’s maiden name. Hulbert Burroughs, it just rolls off the tongue.

Eventually Edgar moved from Chicago to California, bought an estate, re-named it Tarzana after his beloved character, Tarzan, and the folks that lived in the area adopted it as the name of their fair city.

When he was in his late 60’s he was living in Honolulu, Hawaii, when the Japanese attacked. He applied for and became a war correspondent, making him one of the oldest U.S. war correspondents during WWII.

After the war he moved back state side, he landed in Encino, California, and died in bed reading the Sunday comics. He is buried in Tarzana, California.

For a guy whose books sold over a hundred million copies in multiple languages, he one said, “I write to escape . . . to escape poverty”. I think we’re all happy he did.

Tracy – Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom

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About Fannie Cranium

Writing since she could first hold a pen, Tracy Perkins formed her alter ego, "Fannie Cranium" at the suggestion of her husband. Tracy understands smiling makes people wonder what she’s been up to.
This entry was posted in fictional funny names, Funny Names in Literature and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Edgar Rice Burroughs

  1. ksbeth says:

    what an interesting guy and i had no idea about tarzana –

  2. Arto says:

    Hulbert Burroughs! That’s the kind of passing on of funny names that this blog can appreciate.

    Interesting life he had. And his death also sounds like a pleasant way to go.

  3. My favorite author from age 11 to 16. Taught me how to use the word “wont” and how to get meaning out of a double negative.

  4. wdydfae says:

    “. . .swinging boldly from branch to branch Fannie serves up one blood-curdling jungle call of a post . . .”

    “. . . Fannie shows she’s Queen of the Jungle with her delightful Edgar Rice Burroughs thumbnail . . .”

    “. . . Fannie shows who’s boss with her new Burroughs post: ‘Me Fannie, you BoFN!’ . . .”

  5. Reblogged this on Fannie Cranium's and commented:

    Ever wonder how Tarzana, California, got its name? Meet the inspiration: Edgar Rice Burroughs. This month’s contribution to the Blog of Funny Names.

  6. kerbey says:

    So really, Carol Burnett owes her success to him, per her Tarzan yell. I have an in-law named Delbert, but that is much easier to say than Hulbert, which is like choking on your own tongue. I didn’t know any of this about Edgar. How fun!

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