John Dudley Ball, Jr. was born in Schenectady, NY in 1911. He grew up in Milwaukee and attended Carroll College in Wisconsin. He joined Fortune magazine in 1937 and three years later became an assistant curator of the Hayden Planetarium. He wrote liner notes for Columbia record albums, was a music critic for various newspapers. At his death in 1988, he had written some 35 books, reflecting his varied background and eclectic interests. He was a vice president of the Mystery Writers of America and past president of the Los Angeles chapter. He was also a founding member of the Sherlock Holmes Society in Los Angeles and a member of the Baker Street Irregulars.
From the guide to the John Ball Collection, 1986, (Bowling Green State University - Browne Popular Culture Library)