American author L. Frank Baum (1856 – 1919) is best known for his children’s story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz published in 1900.
He also wrote thirteen sequels, 64 other novels, 83 short stories, over 200 poems, an unknown number of scripts and many other miscellaneous writings. And he achieved all of this in a career spanning just over twenty years.
He married his wife Maud in 1882 and after the birth of their 4th child in 1891, they moved to Chicago and lived at a house on 68 Humboldt Boulevard. It was here that he wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Frank’s first children’s book of prose tales based on the Mother Goose rhymes was published in 1897. A few years later after the publication of the best selling Father Goose: His Bookin 1899, followed by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900, the family began to live a comfortable life. They spent their summers at Macatawa Park, Michigan where Frank then purchased a cottage, christening it the ‘Sign of a Goose’.
Due to Frank’s failing health they moved from Chicago to Hollywood in 1910 and lived in a house they named Ozcot.
While he was living at Ozcot he divided his time between writing and gardening. On a typical day he would get up at about 8am. After a hearty breakfast he spent the rest of the morning gardening. Lunch was at 1pm and then he would do some writing. He liked to work in a garden chair, writing longhand on a clipboard. He would often potter around the flower beds to work out ideas for a book in his head.
Frank continued writing at Ozcot until his death in 1919. Just twenty years later 1939 saw the release of the film version The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland which became one of the most memorable and best loved films in the history of cinema.