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Author Rex Stout was born on December 1, 1886. A child prodigy with a gift for mathematics, Stout drifted as he became an adult, holding odd jobs in many places---cook, cabinetmaker, bellhop, hotel manager, salesman, bookkeeper, and even a guide in a pueblo. But his true talent lay in storytelling; he sold his first story, about William Howard Taft, in 1912. His most famous creation is Nero Wolfe, a 286-pound detective genius who, with sidekick Archie Goodwin, can often solve a case without leaving his room. It is the way in which the puzzle is solved that intrigues Nero Wolfe, who is much like Sherlock Holmes in his ability to use deductive reasoning. More than 60 million copies (in 24 languages) of Stout's books have been sold. Stout writes quickly, drawing upon a lifetime of impressions. He neither uses an outline nor revises; he lets his characters take over as the story develops. The classy, erudite Nero Wolfe presents for readers an alternative to the hard-boiled branch of the genre. He died on October 27, 1975 (Bowker Author Biography)
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After leaving the Navy in 1908, he became an itinerant bookkeeper and then worked as a sight-seeing guide, bookstore salesman, stablehand and hotel manager. Later he devised and implemented a school banking system which was installed in four hundred cities and towns throughout the country. In 1927 he retired from the world of finance and began writing. In 1941 he became chairman of the Writer's War Board, and in 1943 he was elected president of the Authors Guild. He was married to wife, Pola.
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