Stratemeyer, Edward L.

Stratemeyer, Edward L. (Arthur M. Winfield, Horatio Alger Jr., Captain Ralph Bonehill, Nick Carter, and many other pen names)

(1862–1930) writer, book syndicate operator; born in Elizabeth, N.J. After graduating from high school and working in his father's tobacco shop, he began writing juvenile fiction, selling his first story in 1888. During the next decade he contributed to and edited various magazines while commencing (1894) his prolific output of series books, combining Horatio Alger sentiments with formulaic adventure plots. In 1906 he founded the Stratemeyer Literary Syndicate in New York (later moving to New Jersey); he supplied the characters, plots, and authors' pen names to a team of writers who over the years wrote more than 800 books under some 60 pseudonyms, including the Tom Swift series (by Victor Appleton), the Bobbsey Twins series (by Laura Lee Hope) and the Hardy Boys series (by Franklin W. Dixon). Stratemeyer himself probably wrote a total of another 220 books. After his death the syndicate was directed by his daughter, Harriet S. Adams, who herself had created the Nancy Drew series (under the name of Carolyn Keene).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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