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Max Brand
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    (May 29, 1892-April 12, 1944)
    Born in Seattle, Washington
    American author
    Best known for his novels set in the old American west
    Real name: Frederick Schiller Faust
    Killed while serving as an American war correspondent in Italy during WWII
    One of the most prolific writers of all time with over 500 novels and an estimated 25 to 30 million words published
    He joined the Canadian army in 1915 but quickly deserted.
    He dropped out of UC Berkeley.
    He created the Dr. Kildare character, which led to those God awful movies and TV series.
    Not all of his stuff was of the highest quality.
    He only used his real name for his poetry.
    His real name was cooler than his pen name.
    None of his writing ever won a major award.
    His parents died when he was very young.
    He suffered a heart attack at a young age and was bedeviled with heart problems the rest of his life.
    He was very successful at getting his books made into movies, most notably 'Destry Rides Again' starring Jimmy Stewart and Marlene Dietrich.
    His work was usually family friendly; some violence, no gore, sex, or profanity.
    His book sales can only be estimated but are surely in the hundreds of millions.
    In his fifties, with a wife, three children, and a bad ticker he was under no legal or moral obligation to fight in WWII but volunteered to do so.
    Reportedly, he was very well liked by the troops he met, many of whom were fans of his movies and books.
    As successful and prolific as he was, he left behind so much work that he continued to put out new novels for decades after his death!

Credit: tom_jeffords

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