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Author Information: Walter B. Gibson



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Born in 1897, Walter B. Gibson sold his first published creation, a puzzle, to St. Nicholas Magazine at the age of seven. He passed away, appropriately, on St. Nicholas Day, December 6, 1985. An accomplished professional magician, he wrote many how-to-do-it books about magic and card games, ghosted books for his colleagues Thurston and Blackstone, and wrote two popular books about his friend Harry Houdini. He and his wife Litzka, widow of The Great Raymond and a magician in her own right, teamed up to write books about numerology and other occult subjects, though it seems likely that Gibson, as a professional illusionist, was a skeptic. Gibson was working at a newspaper in 1931 when he created his famous pulp hero, The Shadow, at the instigation of Street and Smith Inc., based on the popular announcer of that name on their Detective Story Hour radio show. As "Maxwell Grant," Gibson wrote 282 of the 325 Shadow adventures, as well as scripts for the Shadow radio program. A few years later he created another Maxwell Grant character, Norgil, a stage magician who, in a number of short stories, uses his knowledge of illusion to solve mysteries.


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