Zane Grey 1 2
- Born: 31 Jan 1872, Zanesville, Muskingum, Ohio, United States
- Died: 23 Oct 1939, Altadena, Los Angeles, California, United States at age 67
Another name for Zane was Pearl Zane Gray.
Wikipedia.org (Zane Grey) has a long article about Zane Grey.
From Wikipedia - Zane Grey :
Zane Grey (January 31 , 1872 - October 23 , 1939 ) was an American author best known for his popular adventure novels and stories that presented an idealized image of the rugged Old West . As of June 2007, the Internet Movie Database credits Grey with 110 films, one TV episode, and a series , Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater based loosely on his novels and short stories .
Pearl Zane Gray was born January 31, 1872 in Zanesville , Ohio . He was the fourth of five children born to Lewis M. Gray, a dentist, and his wife, Alice "Allie" Josephine Zane, whose Quaker ancestor Robert Zane came to America in 1673 from England. His family changed the spelling of their last name to Grey after his birth. Later Grey used Zane as his first name. Grey grew up in Zanesville, a city founded by his maternal ancestor Ebenezer Zane , a Revolutionary War patriot, so he felt surrounded by history. Grey developed interests in fishing , baseball , and writing, all which contributed to his writing success. His first three novels memorialized the heroism of his Revolutionary relatives.
As a child, Grey frequently engaged in violent brawls. His father punished him with severe beatings. Though irascible and antisocial like his father, Grey was supported by a loving mother and had a father substitute. Muddy Miser was an old man who approved of Grey's love of fishing and writing, and who talked about the advantages of an unconventional life. Despite warnings by Grey's father to steer clear of Muddy, Grey spent five formative years in the company of the old man.
Grey was an avid reader who stoked his imagination with adventure stories (Robinson Crusoe and Leatherstocking Tales ) and dime novels (featuring Buffalo Bill and "Deadwood Dick"). He was enthralled by and crudely copied the great illustrators Howard Pyle and Frederic Remington . He was particularly impressed with Our Western Border, a history of the Ohio frontier which likely inspired his earliest novels. Zane wrote his first story, Jim of the Cave, when he was fifteen. His father tore it to shreds and beat him.
Both Grey and his brother Romer were active, athletic boys who were enthusiastic baseball players and fishermen.
A severe financial setback in 1889 caused by a poor investment forced Grey's father, out of embarrassment, to move his family out of Zanesville to start anew in Columbus, Ohio . His father struggled to re-establish his dental practice. Grey helped by making rural house calls and performing basic extractions, which he had learned from his father. He practiced until the state board intervened. Romer helped out by driving a delivery wagon. Grey also worked as a part-time usher in a movie theater and played summer baseball for the Columbus Capitols, with aspirations of becoming a major leaguer. Eventually, Grey was spotted by a baseball scout and received offers to many colleges. Romer also attracted attention and went on to have a pro-baseball career.
Dentistry and marriage
After graduating, Grey established his practice in New York City under the name of Dr. Zane Grey in 1896. It was a competitive area but he wanted to be close to publishers. He began to write in the evening to offset the tedium of his dental practice. He struggled financially and emotionally. Grey was a natural writer but his early efforts were stiff and grammatically weak. Whenever possible, he played baseball with the Orange Athletic Club in New Jersey, a team of former collegiate players that was one of the best amateur teams in the country.
Grey often went camping with his brother R.C. in Lackawaxen , Pennsylvania , where they fished in the upper Delaware River . When canoeing in 1900, Grey met seventeen year-old Lina Roth, better known as "Dolly". They married five years later. Dolly came from a family of physicians and was studying to be a schoolteacher. They had a passionate and intense courtship, but quarreled frequently. Grey suffered bouts of depression, anger, and mood swings, which affected him most of his life. As he described it, "A hyena lying in ambush-that is my black spell! I conquered one mood only to fall prey to the next…I wandered about like a lost soul or a man who was conscious of imminent death."
During his courtship with Dolly, Grey was still in contact with previous girlfriends and warned her frankly, "But I love to be free. I cannot change my spots. The ordinary man is satisfied with a moderate income, a home, wife, children, and all that….But I am a million miles from being that kind of man and no amount of trying will ever do any good". He added, "I shall never lose the spirit of my interest in women."
When they married in 1905, Dolly gave up her teaching career. They moved to a farmhouse at the convergence of the Delaware and Lackawaxen rivers, in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania, where Grey's mother and sister joined them. (This historic house is preserved as the Zane Grey Museum.) Grey finally ceased his dental practice to devote full-time to his nascent literary pursuits. Dolly's inheritance provided an initial financial cushion. While his wife managed his career and raised their three children, over the next two decades Grey often spent months away from them. He fished, wrote and spent time with his many mistresses. While Dolly knew of his behavior, she seemed to view it as his handicap rather than a choice. Throughout their life together, he highly valued her management of his career and their family, and her solid emotional support. In addition to her considerable editorial skills, she had good business sense and handled all his contract negotiations with publishers, agents, and movie studios. All his income was split fifty-fifty with her; from her "share", she covered all family expenses. Their considerable correspondence shows evidence of his lasting love for her despite his indiscretions and personal emotional turmoil.
The Greys moved to California in 1918. In 1920 they located in Altadena, California , where Grey bought a prominent mansion on East Mariposa Street, known locally as "Millionaire's Row". Designed by architects Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey (no relation to the author), the 1907 Mediterranean style house is acclaimed as the first fireproof home in Altadena, built entirely of reinforced concrete as prescribed by the first owner's wife. Grey summed up his feelings for Altadena with this quote: "In Altadena, I have found those qualities that make life worth living." (The city uses it in promotions.)
Literary output and legacy
Grey became one of the first millionaire authors. With veracity and emotional intensity, he connected with his millions of readers worldwide, during peacetime and war, and inspired many Western writers who followed him. Zane Grey was a major force in shaping the myths of the Old West and he helped transition the written Western into other media. He was the author of over 90 books, some published posthumously and/or based on serials originally published in magazines. His total book sales exceed 40 million.
He not only wrote Westerns, but he also authored two hunting books, six children's books, two baseball books, and eight fishing books. Many of them became bestsellers. It is estimated that he wrote over nine million words in his career. From 1917-1926, Grey was in the top ten best-seller list nine times, which required sales of over 100,000 copies each time. Even after his death, Harper had a stockpile of manuscripts and continued to publish a new title each year until 1963. During the 1940's and afterwards, paperback sales of Grey's books exploded.
Erle Stanley Gardner , prolific author of mystery novels and the Perry Mason series, said of Grey, he:
"had the knack of tying his characters into the land, and the land into the story. There were other Eastern writers who had fast and furious action, but Zane Grey was the one who could make the action not only convincing but inevitable, and somehow you got the impression that the bigness of the country generated a bigness of character."
Grey had built a getaway home in Avalon , Catalina Island , which now serves as the Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel,  . Avid fisherman as he was, he served as president of the Catalina's exclusive fishing club, the Tuna Club.
Zane Grey died of heart failure on October 23 , 1939 at his home in Altadena, California . He was interred at the Union Cemetery in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania .
Legacy and honors
The National Park Service maintains his former home in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania as the Zane Grey Museum , a part of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River area.
His home in Altadena is listed in the National Register of Historic Places .
Zanesville, Ohio has a museum named in his honor, the National Road-Zane Grey Museum.
Zane Grey Terrace, a small residential street in the hillsides of Altadena, is named in his honor.
The Zane Grey Tourist Park Bermagui, Australia.
Noted events in his life were:
• Occupation: Writer.