Faust, Frederick Schiller, 1892-1944Variant names
FAUST, FREDERICK SCHILLER (May 29, 1892-May 12, 1944), poet and popular author, better known as "Max Brand," was born in Seattle, Washington, the second child of Gilbert Leander Faust and his third wife, Elizabeth Uriel, of (respectively) German and Irish background. Faust's father was a lawyer, land speculator, bank president, and lumber-mill owner in Seattle and in California. Faust's mother died when he was eight; his father died five years later.
On his own at thirteen, Faust lived and worked on a succession of farms and ranches in central California and attended nineteen different public schools. In 1911, after graduating from Modesto (Calif.) High School, Faust entered the University of California. Although his major was social science, he was active as the editor of the Pelican, a campus humor magazine; he also served on the staff of the Occident, and the 1915 yearbook. Faust left the University during his senior year. Over the next two years he worked on a Honolulu newspaper, served short terms in the Canadian and American armies, contracted influenza -which left him with a weak heart -and tried to make a living by writing. On May 29, 1917 he married Dorothy Shillig. They had three children: Jane, John Frederick, and Judith Anne.
Faust sold his first stories to All-Story Weekly, and Argosy, magazines in 1917 under the pseudonym "Max Brand." Two years later his first novel, The Untamed, launched him upon the career which eventually earned him the title "The King of the Pulp Writers." His novels and stories were so successful that he purchased the Villa Negli Ulivi in Florence, where he lived from 1926 to 1938. He then became a writer for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Brothers studios, adapting his own works for motion picture production (most notably the Dr. Kildare series) and working on scenarios for other movies. In 1944 he became a war correspondent for Harper's. That May, at the age of fifty-one, he was killed in action in the assault on Santa Maria Infante, Italy.
Faust was one of the most prolific American writers. It has been estimated that he published more than 30,000,000 words during his lifetime, the equivalent of at least 400 full-length books; and he reportedly left 15 additional novels in manuscript form. He wrote both prose and poetry. His work covered many genres: westerns, historical romances, spy thrillers, mysteries, and poetry. Though best known as "Max Brand," Faust signed at least eighteen pen-names to his writing, including "George Challis," "Evan Evans," "George Owen Baxter," "David Manning," "Peter Henry Morland," "Frederick Frost," and "Walter C. Butler."
(excerpted from Dictionary of American Biography, Supplement Three 1941-1945 New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973; p. 264)
From the guide to the Frederick Schiller Faust Papers, ca. 1910-1992, (bulk 1911-1944), (The Bancroft Library)
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