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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Gelett Burgess Biography

Burgess, Gelett

b. Jan. 30, 1866, Boston, Mass., U.S.
d. Sept. 17, 1951, Carmel, Calif.

in full FRANK GELETT BURGESS, American humorist and illustrator, best known
for a single, early, whimsical quatrain: [The Purple Cow]

Burgess was educated as an engineer and worked briefly for a railroad in
that capacity. Between 1891 and 1894 he taught topographical drawing at the
University of California. In 1895 Burgess became the founding editor of
Lark, a humour magazine, and in 1897 he began to publish books of his
self-illustrated whimsical writings.

Burgess' humour was based upon the sudden break of ideas: a substitution of
the unexpected for the commonplace. Among his best-known works are Goops and
How to Be Them (1900) and subsequent books on Goops (bad-mannered children).
He is credited with adding several words to the English language, including
blurb. Among his many other works are Are You a Bromide? (1906), Why Men
Hate Women (1927), and Look Eleven Years Younger (1937).

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