The 107th Anniversary of REH’s Birth Essay

Today is the 107th anniversary Howard’s birth. While there was no formal celebration in Cross Plains as in recent years, each fan remembers REH in his or her on way on this day — many read their favorite Howard story while enjoying an adult beverage. But no matter how you do it, the main thing is to remember the man and his writing.Howard didn’t specifically mention his birthday too often in his letters, but in a letter to Argosy All-Story Weekly in the Spring 1929 (published in the July 20, 1929 issue) Howard writes a little about himself:

I was born in Texas about twenty-three years ago and have spent most of that time in various parts of my native State. My family has been prone to follow booms, and I have lived in oil boom towns, land boom towns, railroad boom towns, and have seen life in some of its crudest and most elemental forms.

I spent a great deal of my earlier childhood on a ranch, and in the way of occupation have done a great many things, such as riding the range, packing a surveyor’s rod, working on farms, and in law offices, writing up oil field news for various Texas and Oklahoma papers, and working in a drug store.I have always had two main hobbies, boxing and reading, and as I grew out of boyhood the latter crystallized into a desire to write. Circumstances kept me out of the ring, which is probably a good thing for my health in general, but my desire to write materialized—to an extent anyway!I have been selling stories since the age of eighteen and I am unusually proud and glad to have placed “Crowd Horror” with this magazine, for I have been a reader of Argosy for years—since before the combining of Argosy with All-Story. I suppose I have every Argosy I ever bought, for I have a stack of back numbers about four feet high.Sincerely yours.Robert E.


Of course, on another biographical note, Patrice is in the middle of his trip down the road to Dark Valley, which will debunk the de Camp myth that REH lived there when he was a newborn. So while we all wait for Patrice’s next chapter, let’s take some time to remember Two-Gun Bob and wish him a Happy Birthday!

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Art credit: REH Tribute by John Buscema

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