Rex Stout

By | Oct 27, 2011

Rex Todhunter Stout was born on December 1, 1886, the sixth of nine children of John and Lucetta Stout. He was raised in Kansas and as a youth was considered a child prodigy in arithmetic. In 1916 he invented a school banking system, a system for keeping track of the money school children saved in accounts at school. He was paid a royalty.

Even though Stout is most famous for the creation of the Detective Nero Wolfe and his assistance Archie Goodwin, they first appeared in the novel Fer-De-Lance in 1934, he actually began his writing career in the 1910s.

Before this he attended the University of Kansas, although he didn’t finish. He was in the navy, serving two years on the governmental yacht of President Theodore Roosevelt. He also spend 4 years “finding his way” living in 6 different states with 30 different jobs.

Like many he lost much of the money he had made prior to 1929 in the Stock Market Crash.

During World War II he cut back on his writing, to fight the war against the Nazis in any way that he could. (during the 1930s he published about two novels per year. From 1934 until 1940 there were 8 Nero Wolfe adventures as well as 7 others)

Stout died on October 27, 1975, a few months after his last Nero Wolfe novel A Family Affair was published. Nero Wolfe appeared in 33 novels and 39 short stories between 1934 and 1975. Even though time does past, the characters never age.


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