Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Lyman Frank Baum  

Pen Name: L. Frank Baum, Edith Van Dyne, Floyd Akers, Schuyler Staunton, John Estes Cooke, Suzanne Metcalf, Laura Bancroft, Captain Hugh Fitzgerald

Genre: C:CHILD C:YA Fiction

Born: May 15, 1856 in Chittenango, New York

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Baum lived in Chicago from 1891 - 1910. In 1899, he lived at 1667 North Humboldt Boulevard in Chicago when he wrote ''The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. '' In 1976, a Chicago park was named to honor Frank Baum’s mythical land of Oz. Bordering Webster and Larrabee Streets on Chicago’s North Side, ''Oz Park'' serves as a lasting tribute to him.

Biographical and Professional Information

L. Frank Baum was a Chicago newspaperman whose writings about Illinois were eclipsed by his chronicales of the wonderful Land of Oz. ''The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'' appeard in 1900, was an immediate success, and was produced in Chicago as a musical play in 1901. Baum follwed up his success with 13 more Oz books. The original Wizard of Oz was the basis of the classic film of 1939, starring Judy Garland.Baum was also a playwright early in his life. It was as a writer, however, more than as a playwright, that Mr. Baum is best known. For more than twenty years he wrote children's and other stories for various magazines, including ''St. Nicholas'', ''Youth's Companion'' and others. During his career Mr. Baum also wrote under several pen names, the "Mary Louise" books, and the "Flying Girl" and "Aunt Jane Nieces" series under the name of Edith Van Dyne, the "Boy Fortune Hunters" series under the name of Floyd Akers, the "Sam Steele" series under the name of Captain Hugh Fitzgerald, the "Twinkle Tales" and the "Babes in Birdland" under the name of Laura Bancroft, and various other books under the name of Suzanne Metcalf and Schuyler Staunton.


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Awards

-- *Name engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures, 1990 *Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2013