Howard, Robert E.
- Richard Bleiler
Howard, Robert E. (22 January 1906–11 June 1936), fiction writer, was born Robert Ervin Howard in Peaster, Texas, the only child of Isaac Mordecai Howard, a physician, and Hester Jane Ervin Howard. The first nine years of Howard's life were spent in numerous small Texas towns as his father sought to establish a practice. The Howards moved to Cross Plains, Texas, in 1915; apart from brief periods in San Antonio, Brownwood, and New Orleans, Howard spent virtually his entire life there. Unable to start formal schooling until he was eight, he was nevertheless addicted to reading and learning. Paralleling his love of learning was a love of the physical, and through intense exercise Howard developed himself until, at nearly six feet, he weighed 200 pounds and was an enthusiastic amateur boxer. He graduated from high school at age seventeen and took bookkeeping courses at nearby Howard Payne College in Brownwood; upon returning to Cross Plains, he lived with his parents and worked at a variety of menial jobs while writing. His first professional sale was “Spear and Fang” ( ...