Robert Ervin Howard (1906-1936) grew up in Cross Plains, Texas in the very center of the state. A shy and sickly child, Howard was blessed with a vivid imagination and and a strong will. As a young man, he turned to bodybuilding and boxing to overcome his physical weakness. Howard also found success in writing for popular pulp magazines of the 1920s and 1930s, including WEIRD TALES. He wrote in a variety of genres, including westerns, boxing stories, detective, and horror, but Howard is best known for creating the sword-and-sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. Upon learning of the impending death of his mother from tuberculosis, Howard committed suicide in 1936.