Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: L. Frank Baum, Edith Van Dyne, Floyd Akers, Schuyler Staunton, John Estes Cooke, Suzanne Metcalf, Laura Bancroft, Captain Hugh Fitzgerald


Born: May 15, 1856 in Chittenango, New York


Illinois Connection

Baum lived in Chicago from 1891 - 1910. In 1899, he lived at 1667 North Humboldt Boulevard in Chicago when he wrote ''The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. '' In 1976, a Chicago park was named to honor Frank Baum’s mythical land of Oz. Bordering Webster and Larrabee Streets on Chicago’s North Side, ''Oz Park'' serves as a lasting tribute to him.

Biographical and Professional Information

L. Frank Baum was a Chicago newspaperman whose writings about Illinois were eclipsed by his chronicles of the wonderful Land of Oz. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, appeared in 1900 and was an immediate success. It was produced as a musical play in 1901. Baum followed up his success with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with 13 more Oz books. The original Wizard of Oz was the basis of the classic film of 1939, starring Judy Garland.

Baum was also a playwright early in his life. It was as a writer, however, more than as a playwright, that Mr. Baum is best known. For more than twenty years he wrote children's and other stories for various magazines, including St. Nicholas, Youth's Companion, and others. During his career Mr. Baum also wrote under several pen names, the Mary Louise books, the Flying Girl, and the Aunt Jane Nieces series was written under the name of Edith Van Dyne, the Boy Fortune Hunters series under the name of Floyd Akers, the Sam Steele series under the name of Captain Hugh Fitzgerald, the Twinkle Tales and the Babes in Birdland under the name of Laura Bancroft, and various other books under the name of Suzanne Metcalf and Schuyler Staunton.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- *Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2013


-- *Name engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures, 1990