An early twentieth-century American author and journalist, he is most famous for his 1932 novel, State Fair, which inspired three films and a musical of the same name.
He studied at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
He published close to fifty books over the course of his career.
He was the Iowa-born son of a general store owner. He married Virginia Maude Swain in 1925.
His novel, State Fair, was adapted into a musical by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II.