Gardner, Erle Stanley, 1889–1970, American detective-story writer, b. Malden, Mass. He served as a trial lawyer for many years. About 1921 he began writing detective stories for magazines; after that time he produced an extraordinary number of novels and stories noted for their fast action and clever legal devices. His most famous character was the lawyer Perry Mason. Gardner often wrote under two pseudonyms, A. A. Fair and Carleton Kendrake.
Gardner, Erle Stanley(1889–1970) writer, lawyer; born in Malden, Mass. He moved to California as a child, obtained a high school education, knocked about as a professional boxer, studied law on his own, was admitted to the bar in 1911, and quickly established a reputation as a fine courtroom lawyer. He then turned to writing, launching the career of the brilliant, unconventional lawyer-detective Perry Mason in The Case of the Velvet Claws in 1933. The character inspired several movies and a popular television serial, and the Mason series of books sold tens of millions of copies worldwide. He also wrote a series involving "the D.A.," Doug Selby, and under the pen name A. A. Fair he wrote the Bertha Cool mystery series. In 1947 he established the Court of Last Resort, a panel of experts to help people unjustly accused in the courts.