Frank Baum had many jobs throughout his life. He was an author at a young age; he raised Hamburg chickens. He opened his own store, worked for a couple of newspapers, and was a door to door salesman. Baum also managed a few opera houses while perusing an acting career. Out of all of these jobs he is most famous for being an author. Nearly all the books Mr. Baum wrote were children’s books, although he tried to target teenagers and adults too. He wrote more then 60 books during his lifetime.
Let’s take a look at a timeline of his life:
1868- Lyman Frank Baum was born in Chittenango, New York. He was tutored privately at home for a while until his parents sent him to a military school for two years. He was a sickly child with a bad heart.
1882-1883- Frank married a woman named Maud Gage, and they had four boys together. The two of them opened and managed two opera houses. He wanted to be an actor but eventually the opera houses went out of business. When the acting was not successful, he moved his family to Syracuse, New York to help with the family oil business. He then became a salesman for his own castorine axle grease.
1897- Frank Baum published his first successful book as an author. The book was titled, “Mother Goose in Prose”. The book was a children’s book based on stories he told his own children. Two years later he published another child’s book called, “Father Goose: His Book”. Most of the books Baum published were children’s books. Frank teamed with the illustrator William Wallace Denslow who helped publish his books.
1900- Frank and William teamed together again and published one of the greatest children’s book of all time, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. After this book Frank considered his writing career established. He then continued to write, and he established a whole series about the magical land of Oz. “The Marvelous Land of Oz”, was the title for the first sequel.
1902- Frank teamed with a producer and brought “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” to the stage, as a musical. They used adult actors for all the characters. The musical became a hit. A group of actors toured the country and had a 293 night run on Broadway, from 1902-1911.
1910- Baum moved his family to Hollywood, California. He wanted to see the Oz series on the big screen. He founded the Oz Film Manufacturing Co.. He produced 3 stories, but they failed to make it big.
1919- May 6th, Frank Baum died. Frank was born with a bad heart and was sick for most of his life. He did not even live to see his greatest achievement become the reality that he wanted.
1939- The story that made it to the big screen with success was “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. The movie was directed by Victor Fleming, and starred the young actress Judy Garland. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for best picture. This film was one of the first films to use black and white and full color. Although the film was a success it did not get very good reviews.
The works of this great American author will be read by every generation. Frank Baum was a famous author who was responsible for writing one of the most famous children’s book of all time. He is greatly appreciated for bringing brilliant literature to everyone. He is important because he has touched the imagination and lives of hundreds of children for many generations.
Learn more with these Wizard of Oz websites.