Author

Robert E. Howard cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Robert E. Howard

American author (1906-1936)

1906   -   1936

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genre: novel, short story
country of citizenship: United States of America
native language: English
languages spoken, written or signed: English
educated at: Howard Payne University, Brownwood High School
occupation: writer, novelist, screenwriter, science fiction writer, poet
influenced by: H. Rider Haggard
web.archive.org/web/20050718003025/http://www.conan.com

Robert Ervin Howard (January 22, 1906 – June 11, 1936) was an American author who wrote pulp fiction in a diverse range of genres. He is well known for his character Conan the Barbarian and is regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery subgenre. Howard was born and raised in Texas. He spent most of his life in the town of Cross Plains, with some time spent in nearby Brownwood. A bookish and intellectual child, he was also a fan of boxing and spent some time in his late teens bodybuilding, eventually taking up amateur boxing. From the age of nine he dreamed of becoming a writer of adventure fiction but did not have real success until he was 23. Thereafter, until his death by suicide at age 30, Howard's writings were published in a wide selection of magazines, journals, and newspapers, and he became proficient in several subgenres. His greatest success occurred after his death. Although a Conan novel was nearly published in 1934, Howard's stories were never collected during his lifetime. The main outlet for his stories was Weird Tales, where Howard created Conan the Barbarian. With Conan and his other heroes, Howard helped fashion the genre now known as sword and sorcery, spawning many imitators and giving him a large influence in the fantasy field. Howard remains a highly read author, with his best works still reprinted, and is one of the best-selling fantasy writers of all time. Howard's suicide and the circumstances surrounding it have led to speculation about his mental health. His mother had been ill with tuberculosis her entire life, and upon learning she had entered a coma from which she was not expected to wake, he walked out to his car and shot himself in the head.
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