L. Frank Baum

Lyman Frank Baum (May 15, 1856 – May 6, 1919) was an American author of children’s books, best known for writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He wrote thirteen novel sequels, nine other fantasy novels and a host of other works (55 novels in total, plus four “lost” novels, 83 short stories, over 200 poems and many miscellaneous writings) and made numerous attempts to bring his works to the stage and screen. Baum started writing at an early age, perhaps due to an early fascination with printing. His father bought him a cheap printing press; which, with the help of his younger brother Henry (Harry) Clay Baum, with whom he had always been close, he used to produce The Rose Lawn Home Journal. Baum was born in Chittenango, New York, into a devout Methodist family. He had German, Scots-Irish and English ancestry and was the seventh of nine children born to Cynthia Ann (née Stanton) and Benjamin Ward Baum. Benjamin Baum was a wealthy businessman, originally a barrel maker, who had made his fortune in the oil fields of Pennsylvania. Baum grew up on his parents’ expansive estate, Rose Lawn, which he always remembered fondly as a sort of paradise.