Edgar Rice Burroughs was born on September 1, 1875 in Chicago, Illinois, the fourth son in the family. He attended schools in Illinois, but spent six months on a ranch in Idaho during the 1891 flu epidemic. He tried to get into West Point, but failed the entrance exam in 1895, becoming a member of the U. S. Cavalry in Arizona. After developing a heart problem two years later, he was discharged.
Edgar married Emma Hulbert in 1900 while working on his father's farm. They had three children. In 1911, he was selling pencil sharpeners and began writing fiction. By 1912, he had written several novels including the first in the "Tarzan" series.
Burroughs became one of the first authors to cash in on merchandising, capitalizing on Tarzan's success in every conceivable fashion. In 1915, he bought a ranch in California, calling it "Tarzana." After a while, the town of Tarzana, California sprang up. In 1923, Edgar started his own company, printing his own works.
He divorced Emma in 1934 and married Florence Gilbert Dearholt in 1935. They divorced in 1942. During World War II, he became a war correspondent for America. Burroughs died of a heart attack on March 19, 1950 in Encino, California. He wrote nearly 70 books during his career, many of which became movies.