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EDGAR WALLACE

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Born April 1, 1875, Greenwich, London, Eng. — Died Feb. 10, 1932, Hollywood, Calif., U.S.

British novelist, playwright, and journalist. He held odd jobs, served in the army, and was a reporter before producing his first success, The Four Just Men (1905). With works such as Sanders of the River (1911), The Crimson Circle (1922), The Flying Squad (1928), and The Terror (1930), he virtually invented the modern "thriller"; the plots of his detective and suspense stories are complex but clearly developed, and they are known for their exciting climaxes. His output (including 175 books) was prodigious and his rate of production so great as to be the subject of humour. His literary reputation has suffered since his death.

Over 160 films have been made of his novels, more than any other author. In the 1920s, one of Wallace's publishers claimed that a quarter of all books read in England were written by him.He is most famous today as the co-creator of King Kong, writing the early screenplay and story for the movie, as well as a short story "King Kong" (1933) credited to him and Draycott Dell. He was known for the J. G. Reeder detective stories, The Four Just Men, The Ringer, and for creating the Green Archer character during his lifetime.