Erle Stanley Gardner
AUTHOR

Erle Stanley Gardner

Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970) is a prolific American author best known for his works centered on the lawyer-detective Perry Mason. At the time of his death in March of 1970, in Ventura, California, Gardner was "the most widely read of all American writers" and "the most widely translated author in the world," according to social historian Russell Nye. The first Perry Mason novel, The Case of The Velvet Claws, published in 1933, had sold twenty-eight million copies in its first fifteen years. In the mid-1950s, the Perry Mason novels were selling at the rate of twenty thousand copies a day. There have been six motion pictures based on his work and the hugely popular Perry Mason television series starring Raymond Burr, which aired for nine years and 271 episodes.

As author William F. Nolan notes, "Gardner, more than any other writer, popularized the law profession for a mass-market audience, melding fact and fiction to achieve a unique blend; no one ever handled courtroom drama better than he did."

Richard Senate further sums up the significance of Gardner?s contribution: "Although the character of Perry Mason is not unique as a 'lawyer-sleuth,' he is the first to come to anyone's mind when it comes to sheer brilliance in solving courtroom-detective cases by rather unconventional means. Besides 'Tarzan,' 'Sherlock Holmes,' 'Superman' ? 'Perry Mason' qualifies as an American icon of popular culture in the twentieth century."

Gardner's writing has touched a lot of people including a number of high profile figures. Brian Kelleher and Diana Merrill say in their 1987 book, The Perry Mason TV Show Book that Harry S. Truman was a fan and that it is rumored that when Einstein died, a Perry Mason book was at his bedside. They further describe that when Raymond Burr met Pope John XXIII, the actor reported that the pontiff "seemed to know all about Perry Mason." Federal judge Sonya Sotomayor frequently mentions how Perry Mason was one of her earliest influences.

Starting with his first book, Gardner had a very definite vision of the shape the Perry Mason character would take:

"I want to make my hero a fighter," he wrote to his publisher, "not by having him be ruthless to women and underlings, but by creating a character who, with infinite patience jockeys his enemies into a position where he can deliver one good knockout punch."

Author Photo: Courtesy of Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Read more Read less

Best Sellers

    • The Case of the Velvet Claws

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 1
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 6 hrs and 1 min
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 75
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 72
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 71

    Married Eva Griffin has been caught with a prominent congressman, and is ready to pay the editor of a sleazy tabloid hush money to protect the politician....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • The true Perry Mason, hard boiled detecting at its finest!

    • By Michael on 01-05-18

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Rolling Bones

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 15
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 5 hrs and 39 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 13
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 12

    Years ago Alden Leeds found a rich vein of gold in the Klondike. Now his greedy relatives fear he's planning to throw his fortune away on a gold-digging spouse, Emily Milicant....

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Empty Tin

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 19
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 6 hrs and 47 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 18
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 17
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 16

    A spanking-new tin can, secretly placed among the rows of Mrs. Florence Gentrie's preserves, contains not a speck of food - but it does carry one very damning clue to a murder....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great Performance

    • By W. Abbott on 10-26-17

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Daring Divorcee

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 74
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 4 hrs and 47 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 4
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 3
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 3

    Take a no-holds-barred proxy war for a rich Texas oil company, with Jerry Conway, its young president, fighting for survival....

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Vagabond Virgin

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 32
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 6 hrs and 6 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 12
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 10
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 10

    Platinum blonde Veronica Dale is arrested on a charge of vagrancy. Yet, she has a hotel reservation in her name. Addison, head of a department store, booked the room for her....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • great book

    • By Jan Nassif on 10-12-17

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Drowning Duck

    • Perry Mason, Book 20
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 6 hrs and 22 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 15
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15

    A dead man in the kitchen, gas fumes permeate the house, a duck seems to be drowning in the fishbowl, but it didn't die. Maybe that fact has something to do with murder? Find out....

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Perjured Parrot

    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 5 hrs and 11 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 19
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 19
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 19

    Did Wealthy Fremont Sabin divorce his wife before his untimely death? That's the multimillion-dollar question....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • excellent.

    • By ah on 03-28-18

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Mythical Monkeys

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 59
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 5 hrs and 42 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 6
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 6
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 6

    It all began when pretty Gladys Doyle lost her way and was forced to spend the night in a remote cabin....

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Glamorous Ghost

    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 11
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 11
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 10

    Though some think they saw a ghost, it was a real, live woman in the (mostly exposed) flesh flitting through Sierra Vista Park....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Erle Stanley Garner writes good detective stories

    • By W. Abbott on 07-22-17

    Regular price: $19.99

    • The Case of the Crooked Candle

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 24
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 5 hrs and 43 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 14
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 13
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 13

    On his way to finding out, Mason meets Mrs. Milfield, a barely distraught widow, and a slew of suspicious characters all intimately connected to the recently deceased....

    Regular price: $13.99

Are you an author?

Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography.