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Author Information: Mildred A. Wirt Benson

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Mildred "Millie" Augustine Wirt Benson, 1905 - 2002.

Mildred Wirt was born in Iowa in 1905, and grew up as a tomboy, playing sports and reading Horatio Alger stories. In 1927, she became the first woman to earn a master's degree from the University of Iowa's journalism program, but she was already no stranger to the publishing business: her first story to be published, "The Courtesy" in St. Nicholas Magazine, won her a silver badge when she was 12, and she was soon being published in Lutheran Young Folks, Our Young People, and in other denominational papers.

Mildred was author of 23 Nancy Drew mysteries (#s 1-7, 11-25, and 30) which she wrote under the house name Carolyn Keene, from outlines by editors Edward Stratemeyer, Harriet S. Adams, and Edna Squier, writing sometimes "from early morning to late night". Besides her Nancy Drew books, Mrs. Benson wrote more than a hundred other books for young people. "I always wanted to be a writer from the time I could walk" she said.


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