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Author photo. copyright 1908 (LoC Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-103205)

copyright 1908 (LoC Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-103205)

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Short biography
Lyman Frank Baum, more commonly known as L. Frank Baum, was born in 1856 in Chittenango, New York. Baum was most commonly known for writing the popular book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Born with a weak heart, as a child Baum was not permitted to play very much with other children, giving him plenty of excuses to create fanciful imaginative worlds of his own. His parents initially did not approve of this, and sent him off to military school. However, his health issues just grew worse, eventually growing severe enough that he did have to leave the school. After this, his parents realized that his interests may have some use after all. Baum and his brother Harry created a newspaper when Baum was 15. He soon afterwards went into acting. There, he met his future wife, Maud Gage. Soon afterwards, Baum met another important figure in his life—William Denslow, the eventual illustrator of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The two collaborated on some other books before finally working on Oz. The partnership did eventually die; the two men were extremely different people. Baum continued to write the Oz sequels at children’s requests, up until his death, when Ruth Plumly-Thompson took over. Near the end of his life, Baum and Maud moved to California, to a piece of land they named ‘Ozcot’. There, he spent the rest of his days, where his health continued to worsen, leading to his paralysis and death in 1919.
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