An American novelist famous for his pulp and mystery stories, he notably created the character of Frank Merriwell, who was the hero of more than two hundred dime novels. His other works include The Diamond Sport and The Deadwood Trail.
He started his own newspaper, the Corinna Owl, in 1888. Before devoting himself to his writing, he also worked in a machine shop.
He managed a semi-professional baseball team in Maine during the team's 1890-91 season.
He married Alice Gardner at age twenty. They divorced shortly after the birth of their child.
He hired fellow writer, Edward Stratemeyer, to assist him on an NBC radio show.