With the Edgar Rice Burroughs (Forever®) stamp, the U.S.
Postal Service honors one of the most popular and prolific authors of the early 20th century. Best known for inventing the iconic
character Tarzan, Burroughs wrote more than 70 books, including historical fiction and several popular series of science fiction tales.
issuance of this stamp coincides with the 100th anniversary of the publication of Burroughs' first story, “Under the Moons of Mars,”
and his first Tarzan story, “Tarzan of the Apes,” in 1912.
Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in Chicago on September 1, 1875. A restless
student, he was enrolled for a year at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, before attending Michigan Military Academy, where
he briefly taught geology after graduation. Afterward, Burroughs joined the Army, serving in the Arizona Territory with the U.S. Cavalry
until being honorably discharged in 1897 for health reasons.
Edgar Rice Burroughs dredged for gold, worked as a door-to-door salesman
and a railroad policeman, and held a dizzying array of unsatisfying jobs until he published his first story, “Under the Moons of Mars,”
in 1912 — and found his destiny as a writer.
In the past century, Burroughs's Tarzan stories have been published in magazines, syndicated
in newspapers, and republished in more than 24 books, while the Tarzan character has grown into a phenomenon beyond the printed word.
In 1918, the silent film Tarzan of the Apes became the first of more than 50 Tarzan movies. Tarzan also became the subject of a comic
strip beginning in 1929, radio series in the 1930s and the 1950s, and several television series in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Today,
Tarzan is a ubiquitous part of American popular culture.
Burroughs is also remembered for writing historical fiction and several popular
series of science fiction tales, especially the 11 books in his famous “John Carter of Mars” series. A new film adaptation of Burroughs's
Mars series was released in 2012.
To create this portrait of Burroughs, illustrator Sterling Hundley used a photograph taken by the
author’s son, Hulbert Burroughs, in 1934. The photograph shows Burroughs reading a hardcover copy of Tarzan and the Lion Man, which
was published the same year.