Stout, Rex, 1886-1975

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Rex Stout was an American author best known for his detective fiction. He was born December 1, 1886 in Noblesville, Indiana, the sixth of nine children. In 1887 his parents, John and Lucetta Stout, bought a forty-acre farm south of Topeka, Kansas, where Stout grew up. As a young man, Stout tried several trades, including bookkeeping (with a stint in the Navy as a bookkeeper on Theodore Roosevelt's yacht), ushering at an opera house in Topeka, studying law, and working as a cigar store clerk. He also traveled around the United States and began to work seriously at writing.

Stout published serialized novels and short stories throughout the 1910s, mostly in All Story magazine, but took a break from writing in 1916 when he settled in New York City, married Fay Kennedy, and started a savings and loan business for students with his brother, called the Educational Thrift Service (ETS), which he left in 1929. He and Fay spend the next couple of years in Europe. He worked on the first of several "straight" novels he would produce, How Like a God (1929). He published several more novels in this vein. In 1931, he and Fay divorced. The next year he married Pola Weinbach Hoffman, a textile designer, and together they had two daughters, Barbara (1933) and Rebecca (1937). In 1934, Stout wrote his first novel featuring the characters Nero Wolfe and his sidekick Archie Goodwin, Fer-de-Lance. For the next four decades, he dedicated his career to writing the Nero Wolfe series. During that time, Stout wrote seventy-two Wolfe novels and novellas, which spawned several radio, television, and film adaptations, and built the dedicated fan base that would later become the Wolfe Pack. In 1969, he received the crime-fiction award, the Silver Dagger, from the Crime Writers' Association.

Stout was involved in the operation of many professional organizations, among them the Authors' Guild and Authors' League of America (both of which he served as president), the Dramatists Guild, the Mystery Writers of America, the Screen Writers' Guild, and the Radio Writers Guild. He was also a lead figure in several political groups. During World War II he was chairman of the Writers' War Board. He helped to found the Fight for Freedom Committee and Freedom House and gave a series of radio broadcasts concerning Axis propaganda called "Our Secret Weapon." Following the war he continued his political activism by helping to found and serving as president of both the Society for the Prevention of World War III and the Writers Board for World Government.

Rex Stout died on October 27, 1975 at the age of 89 at his estate, High Meadow, in Connecticut.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Stout, Rex, 1886-1975. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1942. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Sherman, Jean. Letters received concerning Spanish Civil War writers auction, 1936-1949 (bulk 1938-1939). Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn MacKinlay Kantor Papers, 1885-1977, (bulk 1920-1970) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Stout, Rex, 1886-1975. Letter to Frank Luther Mott. Brewster, NY. 1940 Aug. 23. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Society for the Prevention of World War III (New York, N.Y.). Letters, 1945-1966, to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Mystery Writers of America. Papers, 1946-2002. Indiana University
referencedIn Writers' War Board Records, 1941-1945 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn John Mason Brown papers, 1922-1967. Houghton Library
referencedIn Starrett, Vincent, 1886-1974. Typed letters signed (18) and autograph letters signed (12) : Chicago, to Edward Wagenknecht, 1943-1970. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Committee to Secure Justice for Morton Sobell. Committee to Secure Justice for Morton Sobell records, 1946-1969. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Rex Stout papers Boston College. John J. Burns Library
referencedIn Cousins, Margaret, 1905-1996. Papers, 1921-1973 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Robert G. Spivack Papers, 1931-1970, (bulk 1936-1970) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn New Yorker records, ca.1924-1984 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn George Sarton additional papers, 1901-1956 Houghton Library
creatorOf Cousins, Margaret, 1905-1996. Papers, 1921-1973. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Stout, Rex. Ed Price collection of Rex Stout Boston College. John J. Burns Library
referencedIn Harris, L. mss., 1931-1977 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
creatorOf Stout, Rex, 1886-1975. Letters to Josephine Bacon. New York, NY., 1943-1944. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn J. B. Matthews Papers, 1862-1986 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Wharton, Don, 1905-1998. Don Wharton papers, 1941-1945 [manuscript]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Papers, 1922-1987 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn The Nation, records, 1879-1974 (inclusive), 1920-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn McAleer, John J. John J. McAleer Papers, 1908-1994. Boston College. John J. Burns Library
referencedIn White mss., 1932-1969 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
referencedIn Vanguard Press Records, ca.1925-ca.1985 Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Robert E. Sherwood papers, 1917-1968 (inclusive), 1934-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Baldwin, Hanson Weightman, 1903-1991. Hanson Weightman Baldwin papers, 1900-1988 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Egmont Arens Papers, 1883-1966, 1880-1966 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
creatorOf Writers' War Board. Letters, 1943-1945, to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Powell, Dawn. Dawn Powell Papers, 1910-1998. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Bernard Augustine De Voto Papers, 1918-1955 (inclusive), 1944-1951 (bulk) Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn R. Buckminster Fuller papers, ca. 1920-1983 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Stout, Rex, 1886-1975. Correspondence to Maxwell Struthers Burt, 1947-1950. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Baker Street Irregulars (Organization : U.S.) archive, 1923-2007. Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
referencedIn Halsband, Robert, 1914-. Robert Halsband papers, 1708-1976. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Writers' War Board. Correspondence to Franz Werfel, 1942, 1943. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Donald and Katharine Foley Collection of Penguin Books, post 1965 Bancroft Library
referencedIn John Eugene Unterecker Papers, 1961-1987 Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Inventory of the Roy Fuller Correspondence with Julian Symons and Jack Clark LIT/Fuller MSS 00068., 1937-1992 Cushing Memorial Library,
creatorOf Stout, Rex, 1886-1975. Correspondence, 1966, from Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Gannett, Lewis, 1891-1966. Papers, 1681-1966 (bulk 1900-1960) Houghton Library
referencedIn Paul Blanshard Papers, 1912-1979 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. records, 1914-1961, 1930s-1950s New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Stout, Rex, 1886-1975. Correspondence with Marian Anderson, 1955-1969. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Author's Guild (U.S.). Correspondence to Franz Werfel, 1941-1945. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Dannay, Frederic, 1905-1982. Papers, ca.1920-1982. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Hawkins, Arthur. Papers of Arthur Hawkins [manuscript], 1929-1970. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Stout, Rex Todhunter, 1886-. Letter, Brewster, N.Y., to Robert D. Williamson [manuscript] 1940 November 29. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Papers, 1925-1972 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Babson, Naomi Lane, 1895-1985. Naomi Lane Babson collection, 1920-1971 bulk 1935-1965. Boston University. School of Medicine
creatorOf Carnegie Council on Ethics & International Affairs. Carnegie Council on Ethics & International Affairs records, 1914-1996. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn George P. Garrett Papers, 1929-2008, (bulk 1960-2000) David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Judson C. Sapp papers and collection of Rex Stout Boston College. John J. Burns Library
referencedIn Frank, Adelaide Schulkind. Papers, 1925-1972 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Freedom House (U.S.). Freedom House archives, 1936-1997. Princeton University Library
referencedIn John Phillips Marquand correspondence, 1892-1960. Houghton Library
referencedIn Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969. Papers, 1925-1969 (bulk: 1937-1969) Houghton Library
referencedIn Erik H. and Joan M. Erikson papers, 1925-1985 (inclusive) 1960-1980 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Rice, Elmer, 1892-1967,. Elmer Rice letters from various correspondents, 1915-1967. Houghton Library
creatorOf Boucher, Anthony, 1911-1968. Papers, 1932-1969 Indiana University
referencedIn Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949. Papers, 1872-1949 Houghton Library
referencedIn Heterosexual popular fiction collection, 1955-1992 Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf Moffitt, John. Papers of John Moffitt, 1916-1974. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn De Voto, Bernard Augustine, 1897-1955. Bernard De Voto papers, 1918-1955 (bulk 1944-1951). Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Levin, Harry. Harry Levin Papers. 1920-1995. Houghton Library
referencedIn Swanberg, W. A., 1907-. W. A. Swanberg Papers, ca.1927-1992. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf McAleer, John J. Correspondence with Marian Anderson, 1972. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Stout, Rex, 1886-1975. Rex Stout papers, 1941-1978. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. records, 1914-1961, bulk (1930s-1950s). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Kantor, MacKinlay, 1904-1977. Papers of MacKinlay Kantor, 1885-1977 (bulk 1920-1970). Library of Congress
referencedIn Rodgers, Dorothy F., 1909-. Papers, 1922-1987 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Hanson Weightman Baldwin papers, 1900-1988 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Frederic Dannay Papers, ca.1920-1982. Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Elmer Rice letters from various correspondents, 1915-1967. Harvard Theater Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
creatorOf Freedom House (U.S.). Correspondence with Marian Anderson, 1960-1969. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Unterecker, John, 1922-1989. Papers, 1961-1987. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Alexander Woollcott correspondence, ca. 1856-1943 (inclusive), 1920-1943 (bulk). Houghton Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adelaide Schulkind Frank person
associatedWith Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Arens, Egmont, 1889-1966 person
associatedWith Authors Guild. corporateBody
associatedWith Author's Guild (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Authors' Guild (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Authors League. corporateBody
correspondedWith Babson, Naomi Lane, 1895-1985. person
associatedWith Bacon, Josephine Daskam, 1876-1961, person
associatedWith Baker Street Irregulars (Organization : U.S.). corporateBody
correspondedWith Baker Street Irregulars (Organization : U.S.). corporateBody
associatedWith Baker Street Irregulars (Organization : U.S.). corporateBody
associatedWith Baldwin, Hanson Weightman, 1903-1991. person
associatedWith Blanshard, Paul, 1892- person
associatedWith Boucher, Anthony, 1911-1968 person
associatedWith Boucher, Anthony, 1911-1968. person
associatedWith Bradbury, William W. person
associatedWith Bragdon, Claude Fayette, 1866-1946 person
correspondedWith Brown, John Mason, 1900-1969 person
associatedWith Carnegie Council on Ethics & International Affairs. corporateBody
associatedWith Committee to Secure Justice for Morton Sobell. corporateBody
associatedWith Cousins, Margaret, 1905- person
associatedWith Curtis Brown Ltd. corporateBody
associatedWith Dannay, Frederic, 1905-1982. person
associatedWith De Voto, Bernard Augustine, 1897-1955 person
associatedWith De Voto, Bernard Augustine, 1897-1955. person
associatedWith Dorothy (Feiner) Rodgers, 1909- person
associatedWith Dramatists Guild. corporateBody
correspondedWith Erikson, Erik H. (Erik Homburger), 1902-1994 person
associatedWith Farrar and Rhinehart. corporateBody
associatedWith Foley, Donald L. person
associatedWith Foley, Katharine person
associatedWith Frank, Adelaide Schulkind. person
correspondedWith Freedom House (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Friends of Democracy (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983 person
correspondedWith Fuller, Roy Broadbent, 1912- person
correspondedWith Gannett, Lewis, 1891-1966 person
correspondedWith Garrett, George P., 1929-2008 person
correspondedWith Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969 person
associatedWith Halsband, Robert, 1914- person
associatedWith Harris, Leon A. person
associatedWith Hawkins, Arthur. person
associatedWith Hoffmann, Rudolf H. person
correspondedWith Kantor, MacKinlay, 1904-1977. person
associatedWith Levin, Harry, 1912-1994 person
associatedWith Lewis, Rod. person
correspondedWith Marquand, John P. (John Phillips), 1893-1960 person
associatedWith Matthews, J. B. (Joseph Brown), 1894-1966 person
associatedWith McAleer, John J. person
associatedWith Moffitt, John. person
associatedWith Mott, Frank Luther, 1886-1964, person
associatedWith Muray, Nickolas, 1892-1965. person
associatedWith Mystery Writers of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Nation (New York, N.Y. : 1865). corporateBody
correspondedWith New Yorker Magazine, Inc corporateBody
associatedWith Powell, Dawn. person
associatedWith Pyramid Publications. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio Writers Guild. corporateBody
associatedWith Rice, Elmer, 1892-1967 person
associatedWith Rice, Elmer, 1892-1967, person
associatedWith Rodgers, Dorothy F., 1909- person
correspondedWith Sapp, Judson Council person
correspondedWith Sarton, George, 1884-1956 person
associatedWith Screen Writers' Guild. corporateBody
associatedWith Sherman, Jean. person
correspondedWith Sherwood, Robert E. (Robert Emmet), 1896-1955 person
associatedWith Society for the Prevention of World War III (New York, N.Y.). corporateBody
associatedWith Sommerich, Jane. person
correspondedWith Spivack, Robert G. person
associatedWith Starrett, Vincent, 1886-1974. person
associatedWith Swanberg, W. A., 1907- person
associatedWith Unterecker, John, 1922-1989. person
associatedWith Vanguard Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Vanguard Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Vanguard Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Viking Press. corporateBody
correspondedWith Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949 person
associatedWith Wharton, Don, 1905-1998. person
associatedWith Williamson, Robert D. person
correspondedWith Woollcott, Alexander, 1887-1943 person
associatedWith Writers Board for World Government. corporateBody
associatedWith Writers' War Board. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Danbury CT US
New York City NY US
Indiana IN US
Topeka KS US
Subject
Book collecting--History--Sources
Detective and mystery television programs
Detective mystery stories, American
World War, 1939-1945--Propaganda
Political activists--Correspondence
American literature--20th century
Authors and publishers--20th century--History--Sources
Book collectors--Correspondence
Publishers and publishing--Correspondence
Detective mystery television programs
Authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
Detective and mystery stories, American--20th century
Authors, American--20th century--Manuscripts
Occupation
Activity

Person

Birth 1886-12-11

Death 1975-10-27

Male

Americans

English

Information

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Ark ID: w68f0m5g

SNAC ID: 84687189