|Erle Stanley Gardner|
Born 1889, he begins his career as an attorney, but writes pulp fiction on the side, specializing in detective yarns. In 1933 he produces The Case of the Velvet Claws, which introduces Perry Mason, a criminal defense lawyer with a predilection for taking on hopeless cases. The character is a hit, and makes Gardner a very rich man. Countless novels follow, adapted into movies in the '30s, a radio show in the '40s, and most memorably as a TV series in the '50s and '60s.
Tudor City View reports that Gardner resides in No. 5 for a few months in 1942. What brings him to the enclave is lost to history ‒ he lives on a ranch in Temecula, California for most of his life ‒ but it seems likely that he rented a penthouse.
Like all good mystery writers, he is nothing if not prolific. When he dies in 1970, he has written 151 books selling over 325,000,000 copies. Wikipedia ranks him the 27th best-selling fiction author of all time, behind Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Dr. Seuss and Danielle Steele, but ahead of Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, Ian Fleming and John Grisham.
Today, his name lives on as a frequent crossword puzzle answer. 'Erle' contains an unusual series of common letters beloved by puzzle designers. First name in courtroom fiction is a typical clue.
|Gardner and secretaries in his office in Temecula, California.|
|Eight of the 82 Perry Mason mysteries.|