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May 15, 1856 Chittenango Madison County New York, USA
May 6, 1919 Hollywood Los Angeles County California, USA
Author and Journalist. Lyman Frank Baum (who used "Frank" as his Christian name throughout his life) showed a remarkable inclination for journalism from an early age, publishing his own small newspaper and stamp-collecting magazine while still in his teens. He would run several small publications through his adult life, taking jobs with newspapers like the "Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer" and "Chicago Evening Post" when his own ventures failed to bear fruit. His passion for children's storytelling, however, eventually led to his greatest success. Once, when telling a fabulous story to a group of children, one listener asked the name of the magical land Baum was describing. Looking about the room, Baum's eyes fell on a file cabinet labeled "O-Z." The name stuck, and Baum, inspired, published a selection of his stories in his first book, 1899's "Father Goose." This book met with great success, and was the best-selling children's book of the year. Baum followed this with his greatest successes, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (1900) and the subsequent musical play "The Wizard of Oz" (1901). Baum would go on to write thirteen more books about Oz, inspiring a legacy perhaps best embodied in the 1939 filming of his work, "The Wizard of Oz," which, like Baum's great book, endures as an American classic. (bio by: Stuthehistoryguy)