Edgar Rice Burroughs

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Burroughs, Edgar Rice

Burroughs, Edgar Rice (bûrˈōz), 1875–1950, American novelist, creator of the character Tarzan. He is the author of Tarzan of the Apes (1914) and numerous other jungle and science fiction thrillers.


See biography by J. Taliaferro (1999).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Burroughs, Edgar Rice


Born Sept. 1, 1875, in Chicago; died Mar. 19, 1950, in Encino, California. American writer.

Burroughs was born into a rich family. He was a cowboy, a prospector for gold, and a policeman. He wrote approximately 60 novels filled with improbable adventures. His widely known series of 23 novels about Tarzan—Tarzan (1914; Russian translation, 1922), The Return of Tarzan (1915; Russian translation, 1922), Tarzan the Untamed (1920), Tarzan the Magnificent (1939), and others—depict a young man who has grown up in the jungles of Africa among apes and who successfully surmounts all dangers. The plots of these novels have served as the basis for many American motion pictures. Burroughs also wrote the science fiction novels A Princess of Mars (1917; Russian translation, 1924), The Gods of Mars (1918; Russian translation, 1924), The Warlord of Mars (1919; Russian translation, 1924), The Synthetic Men of Mars (1940), The Pirates of Venus (1934), At the Earth’s Core (1922), and others.


In Russian translation:
Bokser Billi. Petrograd, 1924.
Zakorenelyi prestupnik. Petrograd, 1924.


Gorbatov, G. “Tarzan ot obez’ian.” Narodnyi uchitel’, 1924, no. 3. [V. Sh.]. “Tarzan.” Russkii sovremennik. 1924, no. 3.
Lupoff, R. A. E. R. Burroughs, Master of Adventure. New York, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Burroughs, Edgar Rice

(1875–1950) writer; born in Chicago, Ill. Son of a wealthy businessman, he attended the Michigan Military Academy, then served briefly in the U.S. cavalry until he was dropped for being underage. For the next 15 years (1896–1911) he worked at a variety of jobs including as a cowboy and miner, finally deciding to try his hand at writing. He published his first story, "Under the Moons of Mars" (using the pen name "Normal Bean") in the pulp magazine All-Story in 1912; it would become the beginning of a serialized novel (published in 1914 as Princess of Mars). In the years that followed he wrote several more science-fiction series but he would remain best known for a series of novels he began in 1914 with Tarzan of the Apes, a story about an English boy raised by apes in Africa; it was so successful that he went on to write another 27 titles in the Tarzan series. He moved to Hollywood in 1919 to supervise the filming of the first of what would eventually become an extremely popular series of Tarzan movies. The Tarzan story also inspired a comic strip, radio and television programs, and countless other spinoffs, all of which made Burroughs very rich. Although he lost money in early investments, he eventually made enough to buy a large ranch near Tarzana, a suburb of Los Angeles named after his creation. During World War II he served as a war correspondent. Churning out two or three novels a year, he wrote in a rather crude style, but the sheer narrative thrust of the Tarzan story engaged millions throughout the world.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.