Saturday, December 01, 2007

Happy birthday, Rex Stout.

Rex Todhunter Stout, creator of orchid-loving sleuth Nero Wolfe, was born today in Indiana in 1886. His many works range from the anonymous The President Vanishes (1934) to the final Wolfe novel A Family Affair (1975) and the address "Watson Was a Woman." His colorful life included a stint as a yeoman aboard Theodore Roosevelt's yacht Mayflower, where he won more money playing whist than his Navy salary, and chair of the War Writers Board during World War II. Fer-de-Lance, the first Wolfe novel, appeared in 1934, followed by more than 70 books or stories. Named a Grand Master in 1959, he died in 1975.

Wolfe has appeared in several radio series (including one where Sidney Greenstreet played Wolfe), two films, and two television productions (1981 and 2000-02). Two of Stout's early pulp works have recently been reissued.

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