Burgess, Gelett

Burgess, Gelett

(Frank Gelett Burgess) (jəlĕt`), 1866–1951, American humorist, b. Boston. His ability as an illustrator led him into magazine work, and he was soon writing humorous articles and stories to accompany his illustrations. His best-known poem, "The Purple Cow," first appeared in the San Francisco periodical the Lark (1895–97), of which he was an editor and steady contributor. Among his books are Goops and How to Be Them (1900) and Are You a Bromide? (1907).
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Burgess, (Frank) Gelett

(1866–1951) writer, humorist; born in Boston, Mass. He attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S. 1887), and moved to San Francisco (1888), where he worked as a draftsman for the Southern Pacific Railroad (1888–91). He moved to New York City (1897), where he worked as an editor, and, after his marriage to an actress, lived in France to sample bohemian life (1914–18). He is known for publishing The Lark (1895–97), a humorous magazine, which carried his famous quatrain, "The Purple Cow." He continued to write, but with little success, and retired to California (1949).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.