Edgar Rice Burroughs
Burroughs in Military Uniform

Edgar Rice Burroughs, the writer who created Tarzan and fantastic tales of science fiction, was born February 23, 1875 in Chicago, Illinois to Major George Tyler Burroughs and Mary Evaline (Zieger).

Edgar Burroughs unsuccessfully pursued a series of careers until he was 35 years old: soldier, cowboy, salesman, and other singular interests. It wasn't until his Oak Park years, between 1914 and 1919, that Burroughs became a successful author.

While living in Chicago and Oak Park, Burroughs created many of his most memorable characters. The first Tarzan book, Tarzan the Ape Man, was completed in May 1912.

Burroughs was also reknown for writings including the "John Carter of Mars" books, magazine stories, and many other published works. Burroughs captivated many children and adults alike with his imaginative tales. Today his legacy lives on in print, film, video and online.

Burroughs' ERB, Inc. created one of the world's first multimedia merchandising empires - complete with Tarzan merchandizing tied in to the movie versions of his tales. (Disney's animated Tarzan movie may be the latest and greatest,  mais le plus ça change, plus ça reste.)

Johny Weissmuller as Tarzan
Hear Tarzan Yell
It is fascinating to speculate on the influences and melieu that Burroughs may have created for the young Ernest Hemingway, who was a teenager living in Oak Park at that time, just a few blocks from the Burroughs' residence.

Burroughs' popularity has continued to rise from the publication of the first Tarzan novel until today. Follow the links above to discover more about Burroughs' life, and read many of his novels online thanks to the Gutenberg Project.

You are invited to visit the new exhibit, "Tarzan, Mars and the Fertile Mind of Edgar Rice Burroughs" at the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest. The hours are 11:30 to 3:30, Thursday through Sunday. Historical photographs of the actors and actresses who starred in the Tarzan movies, and details about Burroughs' life in Oak Park, are just part of the exciting and interesting displays awaiting visitors at the exhibit.

Return to the Oak Park Tourist page URL for this page: http://www.oprf.com/Burroughs
Comments to opt@oprf.com. -- Updated August 1, 1999