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Gaston Leroux
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    (May 6, 1868-April 15, 1927)
    Born in Paris, France
    Author of ‘Phantom of the Opera (1911)’ and creator of the Joseph Rouletabille series (1907–1922)
    Died of uremia (blood in the urinary tract) at age 58
    He was born on a train.
    He wasted the bulk of his father’s inheritance on boozing and gambling.
    Had it not been for Universal Studios, looking for an ideal vehicle for Lon Chaney Sr., the Phantom might have been relegated to afterthought status.
    ‘My dream would be to spend my life reading and never have to write another line.’
    He was credited with talking about pre-‘First World War’ life — yet the Second World War didn’t happen until more than a decade following his death!
    Ultimately, he was overshadowed by his creation.
    He regarded Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as inspirations.
    His legal expertise was legendary — particularly when he was able to secure an interview with a defendant prior to trial.
    With the help of a silent-film actor and a local playwright, he established a film studio for the purpose of bringing literary works to the big screen.
    Because he had rapidly established a none-too-subtle reputation for humiliating incompetent officials, ‘the Eternal Reporter’ became adept at disguise.
    For ‘The Mystery of the Yellow Room (1907),’ he made the central character – the detective – into the offender.
    He managed to complete his 63rd publication right before his death.

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