Derleth, August, 1909-1971

Alternative names
Birth 1909-02-24
Death 1971-07-04
Italian, German, English, Spanish; Castilian, French

Biographical notes:

August William Derleth, 1909-1971, was an author. Although Derleth's literary strengths are exemplified in his nostalgic writings about the Midwestern prairies, he is best remembered for his "weird" fiction, fantasy, and science fiction works.

From the guide to the Derleth mss., 1958-1965, (Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)

American author.

From the description of Typed letters signed (108) : Sauk City, Wis., to Edward Wagenknecht, 1945-1971. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270868052

From the description of Papers, ca. 1958-1965. (Indiana University). WorldCat record id: 49521127

Author and poet.

From the description of Letters, 1942-1971. (University of Iowa Libraries). WorldCat record id: 233125240

August Derleth's career started at age 15 with the sale of a story to Weird Tales. He was a prolific and varied writer. During his career he published over 100 novels, short stories, poetry volumes, biographies, histories, articles and essays. He wrote historical fiction novels as well as poetry, juvenile fiction, mysteries and science fiction/fantasy tales. Derleth himself was an avid reader; his personal library numbered approximately 12,000 volumes. He was also a nature enthusiast; his love for nature is apparent in many of his works. Derleth collected American commemorative stamps and comics; he reputedly had the world's largest collection of comics.

August Derleth began Arkham House Publishing to publish the works of H. P. Lovecraft. Ironically, the two never met. While Derleth was young, he and Lovecraft began corresponding with one another. They typically exchanged letters several times a month until Lovecraft's death.

February 2, 1904: born in Sauk City, WI to William Julius and Rose Louise Derleth 1930: University of Wisconsin, B.A. 1930-1931: associate editor, Fawcett Publications, Milwaukee 1931-1971: free-lance write 1934-1943: contributing editor, Outdoors Magazine 1937-1943: served as director, Sauk City Board of Education 1938: winner of Guggenheim Fellowship (sponsored by Sinclair Lewis, Edgar Lee Masters and Helen Constance White) 1939-1943: special lecturer in American Regional Literature at the University of Wisconsin 1939-1971: publisher, Arkham House 1941-1971: literary editor and weekly columnist (1961-71) for the Capital Times 1953: married Sandra Evelyn Winters (two children, April Rose and Walden William) 1958: 1st prize winner in Scholastic Magazine's short story contest for The Tail of the Dog 1959:divorced from Sandra Evelyn Winters Derleth 1966: winner, Governor's Award. for distinguished service to the creative arts for Return to Walden West July 4, 1971: died

From the guide to the Inventory of the Arkham House Collection: SCI FI MSS 00229., 1930-1953, (Cushing Memorial Library)


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Ark ID:


  • Science fiction
  • American wit and humor, Pictorial
  • Horror fiction
  • Poetry
  • Pons, Solar (Fictitious character)--Fiction
  • Publishers and Publishing
  • Authors, American
  • Fantasy fiction
  • Caricatures and cartoons
  • Nature in literature
  • Wisconsin in literature
  • Comic books, strips, etc
  • Detective and mystery stories, American


  • Collector


  • Wisconsin (as recorded)
  • Sauk City (Wis.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Wisconsin (as recorded)
  • Wisconsin (as recorded)
  • Wisconsin (as recorded)