DEAD: L. Frank Baum

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

L. Frank Baum (aged 62)
Children’s writer

Lyman Frank Baum (May 15, 1856 – May 6, 1919) was an American author chiefly famous for his children’s books, particularly The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its sequels. He wrote 14 novels in the Ozseries, plus 41 other novels, 83 short stories, over 200 poems, and at least 42 scripts. He made numerous attempts to bring his works to the stage and the nascent medium of film; the 1939 adaptation of the first Oz book would become a landmark of 20th-century cinema. His works anticipated such century-later commonplaces as television, augmented reality, laptop computers (The Master Key), wireless telephones (Tik-Tok of Oz), women in high-risk and action-heavy occupations (Mary Louise in the Country), and the ubiquity of advertising on clothing (Aunt Jane’s Nieces at Work).

DEATH: On May 5, 1919, Baum suffered a stroke. The following day he slipped into a coma but briefly awoke and spoke his last words to his wife, “Now we can cross the Shifting Sands.” Frank died on May 6, 1919. He was buried in Glendale’s Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.

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