Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of the science-fantasy figure "Tarzan, the Ape Man", was born in the Chicago area in 1875 to Major George T. and Mary Burroughs. The youngest of three surviving sons of the pair, Edgar narrowly escaped an influenza epidemic in 1891 by going to live on his two older brothers' cattle ranch in Idaho.
Burroughs' writing career began as a result of his reading the pulp fiction of the early 1900s. He considered the material to be "rot" and decided he could do as well. His first effort, in 1911, was a tale involving a Martian Princess entitled "Under the Moons of Mars" and was sold to a magazine for $400--a tidy sum in those days.
Burroughs' second novel was rejected by his editor but the third was entitled "Tarzan of the Apes". The rest, they say, is history. Other intriguing novels by Burroughs include "A Princess of Mars" (his first published book), "The Lost Continent", "Out of Time's Abyss" and "The Land That Time Forgot."