Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Happy Birthday Edward Stratemeyer!

Edward Stratemeyer

Today is the 149th anniversary of the birth of Edward Stratemeyer! He was the genius behind the creation of Nancy Drew and many other series like Tom Swift, Hardy Boys, and the Bobbsey Twins.

He formed the Stratemeyer Syndicate in 1905 and hired ghostwriters to write stories in various series under pseudonyms, paying them a flat fee for their work. For over 81 years now, a very "mysterious" Carolyn Keene has been churning out stories in the popular Nancy Drew series--and if you didn't know it, it's just one of these many pseudonyms.

A 1934 Fortune magazine article declared him the father of the 50-center and stated that as "oil had it's Rockefeller, literature had it's Stratemeyer." Many of his juvenile series were performing outstandingly in the market--he had really made his mark on the field of juvenile literature!

He passed away just 2 weeks after one of his most popular series, Nancy Drew, debuted and never had a chance to realize its success. It's success over 81 years later is a legacy indeed not only to Stratemeyer but to his daughters Harriet and Edna who carried on his Syndicate after his passing until it was sold to Simon & Schuster in 1984.

As secretive as the Syndicate was at that time Stratemeyer was running it, even today many people don't know a lot about this man behind all the mystery. Researchers and authors like James Keeline, a Stratemeyer expert, are working to change that. Visit James Keeline's website on Stratemeyer--it's a wealth of information.


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