Edward Stratemeyer

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Edward Stratemeyer
Unknown date.
Born Edward L. Stratemeyer
(1862-10-04)October 4, 1862
Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States
Died May 10, 1930(1930-05-10) (aged 67)
Newark, New Jersey
Resting place Evergreen Cemetery
Hillside, New Jersey, United States
40°41′33″N 74°12′40″W / 40.6925°N 74.211°W / 40.6925; -74.211
Pen name Victor Appleton, Ralph Bonehill, Franklin W. Dixon, Laura Lee Hope, Carolyn Keene, Roy Rockwood and Arthur M. Winfield
Occupation Publisher and writer
Nationality American
Genre Adventure/Mystery/Science Fiction
Notable works Creator of the book series:
 • The Bobbsey Twins
 • Bomba, the Jungle Boy
 • The Colonial Series
 • The Dana Girls
 • Dave Dashaway
 • Don Sturdy
 • The Hardy Boys
 • Jack Ranger
 • Nancy Drew
 • The Rover Boys
 • Tom Swift

Edward L. Stratemeyer (October 4, 1862 – May 10, 1930) was an American publisher and writer of children's fiction.

He was one of the most prolific writers in the world, producing in excess of 1,300[1] books himself, selling in excess of 500 million copies,[2] and created the well-known fictional-book series for juveniles including The Rover Boys, The Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift, The Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew series, among others. On Stratemeyer's legacy, Fortune wrote: "As oil had its Rockefeller, literature had its Stratemeyer."[3]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born the youngest of six children in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to Henry Julius Stratemeyer, a tobacconist, and Anna Siegel, both immigrants from Germany.[4]

Growing up, Edward read the likes of Horatio Alger and William T. Adams, writers who penned beloved rags to riches tales of the hardworking young American. As a teenager, Stratemeyer operated his own printing press in the basement of his father's tobacco shop—distributing flyers and pamphlets amongst friends. Stratemeyer graduated from high school but it wasn't until the age of 26 that Stratemeyer sold his first story to the popular children's magazine "Golden Days" for $76—over six times the average weekly paycheck at the time.[4]

In 1899, the year Stratemeyer's literary predecessor Horatio Alger died, Stratemeyer wrote and published The Rover Boys a tremendously popular series in the vein of the classic dime novel. The Rover Boys was:

"The first highly successful series by Edward Stratemeyer, each volume had a preface from Edward Stratemeyer himself, thanking his readers and touting the other books. It's generally accepted that Stratemeyer wrote all of the books. He is on record as stating it is his favorite series."[5]

He married Magdalena Van Camp in 1891,[3] and had two daughters: Harriet Stratemeyer Adams (1892–1982) and Edna C. Squier (1895–1974), both of whom would later take over the future Stratemeyer Syndicate [6]


In 1893, Stratemeyer was hired by the popular dime-novel writer Gilbert Patten to write for the Street & Smith publication Good News.[7]

He pioneered the book-packaging technique of producing a consistent, long-running, series of books using a team of freelance writers. All of the books in the series used the same characters in similar situations. All of the free lance writers were published under a pen name owned by his company.

Through his Stratemeyer Syndicate, founded in 1906, Stratemeyer employed a massive number of editors, copy writers, stenographers, co-authors, and secretaries. With their help, he greatly contributed to a new genre of juvenile fiction.[1] He was responsible for launching several series including[8]


Stratemeyer died at age 67 in Newark, New Jersey, May 10, 1930 of lobar pneumonia[9] and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Hillside, New Jersey.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Omnibus II (2005). Veritas Press. p. 148.
  2. ^ Omnibus II (2005). Veritas Press, p. 148.
  3. ^ a b "Authors and Illustrators Profiles: Edward L. Stratemeyer". lookingglassreview.com. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  4. ^ a b O'Rourke, Megan. "Nancy Drew's Father". TheNewYorker. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Winfield, Arthur M. "The Rover Boys Series for Young Americans". seriesbooks.info. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Keeline, James D. "Stratemeyer Syndicate pseudonyms Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew". trussle.com. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  7. ^ John A. Dinan in Sports in the Pulp Magazines (via Google Books). p. 66 (1998).
  8. ^ Andrews, Dale (2013-08-27). "The Hardy Boys Mystery". Children's books. Washington: SleuthSayers. 
  9. ^ "Authors and Illustrators Profiles: Edward L. Stratemeyer". Lookingglassreview. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  10. ^ http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=2950

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]