Frank Gruber

Frank Gruber (born February 2, 1904, Elmer, Minnesota, died December 9, 1969, Santa Monica, California) was an American writer. He was an author of stories for pulp fiction magazines. He also wrote dozens of novels, mostly Westerns and detective stories. Gruber wrote many scripts for Hollywood movies and television shows, and was the creator of three TV series. He sometimes wrote under the pen names Stephen Acre, Charles K. Boston and John K. Vedder.

Gruber said that as a 9-year-old newsboy, he read his first book, "Luke Walton, the Chicago Newsboy" by Horatio Alger. During the next seven years he read a hundred more Alger books and said they influenced him professionally more than anything else in his life. They told how poor boys became rich, but what they instilled in Gruber was an ambition at age nine or 10, to be an author. He had written his first book before age 11, using a pencil on wrapping paper.

Age 13 or 14, his ambition died for a while but several years later it rose again and he started submitting stories to various magazines, like Smart Set and Atlantic Monthly. Getting rejected, he lowered his sights to The Saturday Evening Post and Colliers, with no more success. The pulps were getting noticed and Gruber tried those but with no success. As a story came back with a rejection slip, he would post it off again to someone else, so he could have as many as forty stories going back and forth at different times, costing him about a third of his earnings in postage. Erle Stanley Gardner called him the fighter who licked his weight in rejection slips.

February 1927, he finally sold a story. It was bought by The United Brethren Publishing House of Dayton. It was called "The Two Dollar Raise" and he got a cheque through for three dollars and fifty cents.

Answering an ad in the Chicago Tribune, he got a job editing a small farm paper. In September he got a better paid job in Iowa and soon found himself editing five farm papers. He had lots of money and even wrote some articles for the papers but found he had no time to write the stories he wanted to write.

In 1932 the Depression hit, and he lost his job. 1932 to 1934 were his bad years. He wrote and wrote, many stories typed out on an old "Remington" but of the Sunday School stories, the spicy sex stories, the detective stories, the sports stories, the love stories, very few sold, with some companies paying him as little as a quarter of a cent per word. He had a few successes and remained in Mt. Morris, Illinois for 14 months before deciding to head to New York on July 1, 1934.

There were numerous publishing houses in New York and he could save money on postage but this led to him walking miles to deliver manuscripts as he had so little money, not even enough for food most of the time. He stayed in a room in the Forty Fourth Street Hotel ($10.50 per week).

In his book, The Pulp Jungle (1967), Gruber details the struggles (for a long time, at least once a day he had tomato soup, which was free hot water in a bowl, with free crackers crumbled in and half a bottle of tomato sauce added) he had for a few years and numerous fellow authors he became friendly with, many of whom were famous or later became famous.

Early December 1934 and with endless rejection slips, he got a phone call from Rogers Terrill. Could he do a 5,500 word filler story for Operator #5 pulp magazine by next day? He did and got paid. Even better, they wanted another one next month, and another. He was then asked to do a filler for Ace Sports pulp, which sold. Gruber's income from writing in 1934 was under $400. In 1935, his stories were suddenly wanted and he earned $10,000 that year. His wife came to live with him (she had been living with relatives) and he lived the good life, moving into a big apartment and buying a Buick ($750).

January 1942, Gruber decided to try Hollywood, having heard about the huge sums some stories sold for and stayed there till 1946.

Gruber—who stated that only seven types of Westerns existed[1]—wrote more than 300 stories for over 40 pulp magazines, as well as more than sixty novels, which had sold more than ninety million copies in 24 countries, sixty five screenplays, and a hundred television scripts. Twenty five of his books have sold to motion pictures, and he created three TV series: Tales of Wells Fargo, The Texan and Shotgun Slade. His first novel, The Peace Marshall, which was rejected by every agent in New York at the time, became a film called "The Kansan", starting Richard Dix. The book has been reprinted many times with total sales of over one million copies.

He bragged that he could write a complete mystery novel in 16 days and then use the other 14 days of the month to knock out a historical serial for a magazine.[2] His mystery novels included The French Key (for which he sold the motion picture rights for $14,000 in 1945) and The Laughing Fox.

Gruber said that, while in the Army, he learned how to manipulate the dice to throw 35 consecutive sevens, but that he had "lost this skill through lack of practice".[3] He was a social drinker in the thirties (regular parties for authors were alcohol only with no food provided), being too busy to become a hard drinker, but later just about gave up alcohol.

Frank Gruber
BornFebruary 2, 1904
Elmer, Minnesota, United States
DiedDecember 9, 1969 (aged 65)
Santa Monica, California, United States
GenreWestern, detective fiction, pulp
Weird Tales November 1941
Gruber's "The Book of the Dead" was the cover story in the November 1941 Weird Tales
Mammoth detective 194612
Gruber's novella "The Honest Dealer" took the cover of the December 1946 issue of Mammoth Detective

See also


  1. ^ "No Soft Soap About New And Improved Computer Games". Computer Gaming World (editorial). October 1990. p. 80. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  2. ^ Current Biography 1941, pp. 352–353
  3. ^ Current Biography 1941, p. 353

External links

Cariboo Plateau

The Cariboo Plateau is a volcanic plateau in south-central British Columbia, Canada. It is part of the Fraser Plateau that itself is a northward extension of the North American Plateau. The southern limit of the plateau is the Bonaparte River although some definitions include the Bonaparte Plateau between that river and the Thompson, but it properly is a subdivision of the Thompson Plateau. The portion of the Fraser Plateau west of the Fraser River is properly known as the Chilcotin Plateau but is often mistakenly considered to be part of the Cariboo Plateau, which is east of the Fraser.

As a region and historical identity, the Cariboo is sometimes considered to extend to the Thompson River to the south of that, and to border on the city of Kamloops at its southeastern corner and even as far as Lytton, at the confluence of the Fraser and Thompson Rivers. The town of Lillooet is generally considered to be in the Cariboo, while the Bridge River Country to its west was sometimes referred to as the West Cariboo, as were also the ranches along the west side of the Fraser northwards towards the Gang Ranch. Broader meanings of "the Cariboo" sometimes include the Chilcotin, west of the Fraser. The geographic region known as the Quesnel Highland, which forms a mountainous series of foothills between the plateau proper and the Cariboo Mountains, is likewise considered to be part of the Cariboo in a cultural-historical sense – not the least because it is the location of the famous Cariboo goldfields and the one-time economic capital of the Interior of British Columbia, Barkerville.

The Cariboo is commonly divided into North Cariboo, Central Cariboo and South Cariboo. The commercial centre of the north is Quesnel, of the central Williams Lake and of the south 100 Mile House. The Cariboo region is generally considered to reach as far southeast as the city of Kamloops and to include the Cache Creek and Lillooet areas in the south. The region west of the Fraser River north of Lillooet, the Chilcotin, is often considered to be a part of the Cariboo; the country south of it immediately west of Lillooet is sometimes referred to as the West Cariboo.

The Cariboo Plateau is made of Late Miocene flood basalt lavas of the Chilcotin Group, a group of related volcanic rocks that is nearly parallel with the Fraser Plateau. It extends along the adjacent Garibaldi Volcanic Belt in the Coast Mountains. Volcanism of the Cariboo Plateau is considered to be a result of extension of the crust behind the coastal Cascadia subduction zone.

Important events in the history of the Cariboo region:

The Cariboo Gold Rush

The building of the Cariboo Wagon Road

The Chilcotin War of 1864The Cariboo Trail is a 1950 film about the gold rush era of the 1890s in the area. The film is based on a story by John Rhodes Sturdy, screenplay by Frank Gruber, directed by Edwin L. Marin, and starring Randolph Scott and Gabby Hayes.

Bowron Lake Provincial Park is a popular canoeing destination in the Cariboo Mountains east of Quesnel. Wells Gray Park to its south is partly in the Cariboo.

Cripple Creek (film)

Cripple Creek is a 1952 United States Technicolor Western film based on a story by Frank Gruber.It is 78 minutes long and was released on July 1, 1952. Directed by Ray Nazarro and written by Richard Schayer, it stars George Montgomery, Jerome Courtland, and Richard Egan.

Frank Gruber (disambiguation)

Frank Gruber (1904–1969) was an American writer and screenwriter.

Frank Gruber may also refer to:

Franklin H. Gruber, American wagonmaker who built the Gruber Wagon Works in Pennsylvania

L. Franklin Gruber (1870–1941), American Lutheran who compiled the Gruber Collection of religious source material

Hurricane Smith (1952 film)

Hurricane Smith is a 1952 adventure film directed by Jerry Hopper.

In Old Sacramento

In Old Sacramento is a 1946 American Western film directed by Joseph Kane and written by Frances Hyland and Frank Gruber. The film stars Wild Bill Elliott, Constance Moore, Henry H. Daniels Jr., Ruth Donnelly, Eugene Pallette and Jack La Rue. The film was released on May 31, 1946, by Republic Pictures.

Johnny Angel

Johnny Angel is a 1945 film noir directed by Edwin L. Marin and written by Frank Gruber and Steve Fisher from the novel Mr. Angel Comes Aboard by Charles Gordon Booth. The movie stars George Raft, Claire Trevor and Signe Hasso, and features Hoagy Carmichael.

Johnny Fletcher

Johnny Fletcher is an American old-time radio comedy-detective drama. It was broadcast weekly on ABC from May 30, 1948, until November 27, 1948. The program was also known as A Johnny Fletcher Mystery.Johnny Fletcher was an amateur detective, "something of a scofflaw", created by writer Frank Gruber. The character was featured in at least 18 Gruber novels between 1940 and 1964. The film The French Key (1946), which starred Albert Dekker as Fletcher, was based on the Fletcher novel of the same title.Radio historian Jim Cox, in his book, Radio Crime Fighters: Over 300 Programs from the Golden Age, describes Fletcher as "inept" and "frequently drunk". The program's plots usually involved murder or other kinds of mayhem that Fletcher and his partner, Sam Kragg, tried to solve. As an example, "The Whispering Master" episode (previewed in a contemporary newspaper) began with an "unidentified but beautiful young woman" kissing Fletcher and suddenly departing, leaving behind a popular recording. As the plot unfolded, Fletcher had to solve the murder of the singer who recorded the song.Gruber originally sold the rights to his Fletcher novels to NBC in 1946. An audition recording of Johnny Fletcher Mysteries featured Dekker as Fletcher and Mike Mazurki as Sam. The pilot episode was an adaptation of the novel, The Navy Colt. Two years later, ABC bought the rights to the program from NBC and produced Johnny Fletcher.On the ABC version, Fletcher was portrayed by Bill Goodwin, while Sam was played by Sheldon Leonard. The announcers were Owen James and John Storm. Gruber wrote the scripts, and Buzz Adlam provided the music. Producers were Bill Rousseau and Hal Finberg.The February 20, 1961, issue of the trade magazine Broadcasting included Johnny Fletcher in a list of pilots being prepared for the 1961-1962 season. Gruber was the producer of the episode, which starred Johnny Goddard and Read Morgan.

Man in the Vault

Man in the Vault is a 1956 film noir about a locksmith, played by William Campbell, who is forced to help gangsters commit a robbery. The screenplay by Burt Kennedy was based on the novel The Lock and the Key by Frank Gruber. The film was the directorial debut of Andrew V. McLaglen.

Pulp magazine

Pulp magazines (often referred to as "the pulps") were inexpensive fiction magazines that were published from 1896 to the 1950s. The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. In contrast, magazines printed on higher-quality paper were called "glossies" or "slicks". The typical pulp magazine had 128 pages; it was 7 inches (18 cm) wide by 10 inches (25 cm) high, and 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) thick, with ragged, untrimmed edges.

The pulps gave rise to the term pulp fiction in reference to run-of-the-mill, low-quality literature. Pulps were the successors to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short-fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many respected writers wrote for pulps, the magazines were best known for their lurid, exploitative, and sensational subject matter. Modern superhero comic books are sometimes considered descendants of "hero pulps"; pulp magazines often featured illustrated novel-length stories of heroic characters, such as Flash Gordon, The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Phantom Detective.

Samuel A. Peeples

Samuel Anthony Peeples (September 22, 1917 – August 27, 1997) was an American writer. He published several novels in the Western genre, often under the pen name Brad Ward, before moving into series television after being given a script assignment by Frank Gruber. He is known to Star Trek fans for his script for the second pilot episode, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", as well as "Beyond the Farthest Star", the first episode of the animated series Star Trek. He also wrote an alternative script, Worlds That Never Were, for the second Star Trek motion picture, but it was not used; instead the producers decided to continue work on the script which would be filmed as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. However, one character from his draft, Doctor Savik, would eventually morph into the character of Lieutenant Saavik.

Peeples died of cancer September 22, 1997 at age 79.

Shotgun Slade

Shotgun Slade is an American western mystery television series starring Scott Brady that aired seventy-eight episodes in syndication from 1959 to 1961 Created by Frank Gruber, the stories were written by John Berardino, Charissa Hughes, and Martin Berkeley. The series was filmed in Hollywood by Revue Studios.

The pilot for Shotgun Slade aired earlier in 1959 on CBS's Schlitz Playhouse.

Stackpole Books

Stackpole Books is a trade publishing company in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. It was founded by E. J. Stackpole Jr. in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1930 and was moved to its current headquarters in 1993. Stackpole publishes nonfiction books in the areas of crafts, outdoors, regional and travel, military history, and military reference. The current CEO is M. David Detweiler, and the Publisher and Editorial Director is Judith Schnell.


A street is a public thoroughfare (usually paved) in a built environment. It is a public parcel of land adjoining buildings in an urban context, on which people may freely assemble, interact, and move about. A street can be as simple as a level patch of dirt, but is more often paved with a hard, durable surface such as concrete, cobblestone or brick. Portions may also be smoothed with asphalt, embedded with rails, or otherwise prepared to accommodate non-pedestrian traffic.

Originally, the word street simply meant a paved road (Latin: via strata). The word street is still sometimes used colloquially as a synonym for road, for example in connection with the ancient Watling Street, but city residents and urban planners draw a crucial modern distinction: a road's main function is transportation, while streets facilitate public interaction. Examples of streets include pedestrian streets, alleys, and city-centre streets too crowded for road vehicles to pass. Conversely, highways and motorways are types of roads, but few would refer to them as streets.

TV Reader's Digest

TV Reader's Digest is the title of a 30-minute American television anthology drama series which aired on the ABC from 1955 to 1956. Its theme music was "Polonaise" from Act III of Eugene Onegin, an Opera by Tchaikovsky.

Based on articles that appeared in Reader's Digest magazine, the episodes based on true stories which were varied in their themes, plots and content. Themes included crime, heroism, mystery, romance, and human interest. Episode writers included Frederick Hazlitt Brennan, Cleveland Amory, and Frank Gruber.

Some of the actors who were cast in the episodes included: Claude Akins, Leon Askin, Jean Byron, Chuck Connors, Peter Graves, Tod Griffin, John Howard, Vivi Janiss (as Mary Todd Lincoln in "How Chance Made Lincoln President"), Lee Marvin, Francis McDonald, Martin Milner, Jerry Paris, Gene Raymond, Max Showalter, and Michael Winkelman.

The French Key

The French Key is a 1946 American mystery film directed by Walter Colmes and written by Frank Gruber. The film stars Albert Dekker, Mike Mazurki, Evelyn Ankers, John Eldredge, Frank Fenton and Selmer Jackson. The film was released on May 18, 1946, by Republic Pictures.

The Great Missouri Raid

The Great Missouri Raid is a 1951 American Western film directed by Gordon Douglas and written by Frank Gruber. The film stars Wendell Corey, Macdonald Carey, Ellen Drew, Ward Bond, Bruce Bennett, Bill Williams and Anne Revere. The film was released on February 15, 1951, by Paramount Pictures.

The Mask of Dimitrios

The Mask of Dimitrios is a 1944 American film noir directed by Jean Negulesco and written by Frank Gruber, based on the 1939 novel of the same name written by Eric Ambler (in the United States, it was published as A Coffin for Dimitrios). Ambler is known as a major influence on writers and a developer of the modern thriller genre.

The film features Sydney Greenstreet, Zachary Scott (as Dimitrios Makropoulos), Faye Emerson and Peter Lorre. This was the first film for Scott after signing a contract with Warner Bros. Pictures.

Town Tamer

Town Tamer is a 1965 American Western film directed by Lesley Selander, written by Frank Gruber, and starring Dana Andrews, Terry Moore, Pat O'Brien, Lon Chaney Jr., Bruce Cabot, Lyle Bettger and Richard Arlen. It was released on July 7, 1965, by Paramount Pictures.

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