Johnston McCulley. Author of Zorro
Mr. Johnston McCulley(Pictured above, second from the left)
Johnston McCulley, a popular pulp fiction writer of the 1920-40's, was born on February 21, 1883 in Ottowa, Illinois. He worked as a police reporter for The Police Gazette and as an Army Public Affairs Officer during World War I. A history buff, McCulley began his prolific writing career for the pulp magazines, moving into novels and later, screenplays. His stories ranged from crime thrillers to action heroes in Spanish California.
McCulley is most remembered for creating Senor Zorro, the fox, fought for justice behind a mask and masqueraded as the Spanish caballero, Don Diego Vega. Zorro's dual identity featured opposing personalities. Zorro was the fearless action hero riding at night to avenge injustice, while the languid Diego read poetry. Zorro first appeared in All Story Weekly, as The Curse of Capistrano in five weekly installments beginning Aug. 9, 1919. Silent film star Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., made McCulley's Curse into the screen classic The Mark of Zorro in 1920, setting the fox on a path of cinematic history that complimented his life in print. McCulley died on Nov. 23, 1958, just as the popularity of his creation reached a frenzied peak with Guy Williams starring in Walt Disney's weekly television show, Zorro.
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