L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)

Death: 6th May 1919
Location: Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA Plot: Section G
Cause of death: Stroke
Photo taken by: giddygirlie
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American author who is best remembered as the creator of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, one of the most successful children’s books ever written.
Baum was born in Chittenango, New York, the seventh of nine children. He was educated at home until the age of twelve, when he was sent to Military Academy as his parents believed it would toughen him up. He remained there for two years before he was allowed home.
Throughout his life he had a fascination with the theatre and preformed in several plays. In 1880 his father made him the manager of several theatres that he owned and Baum started to write plays for them. In 1882 he was married to Maud Gage. In 1900 Baum, along with illustrator W.W. Denslow, set about creating a modern fairy tale and they produced The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Baum shared the copyright with Denslow and the book was the bestselling children’s book for the following two years. Baum went on to create a further thirteen Oz novels. In 1902 Baum and Denslow were part of the team that created a stage musical adaptation called The Wizard of Oz which ran on Broadway.
Baum’s love of the theatre caused him to go into debt in his later life, due to his repeated financing of musicals, and his debt resulted in him selling the rights to many of his works including The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The book has been adapted for screen several times, most famously in 1939 staring Judy Garland.