Spirit of America Bookstore

Lester  Dent
[1904-1959]

and  Doc Savage

         author & adventurer Lester Dent [1904-59]             Lester Dent profile
history of Doc Savage

Doc Savage novels & stories
other fiction
other works

works about Lester Dent
& Doc Savage

principal characters

family & friends

links

            fictional hero Doc Savage

The Doc Savage Code: Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit by it. Let me think of the right and lend all my assistance to those who need it, with no regard for anything but justice. Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage. Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do. Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.

¨                        ¨

          Lester Dent was born in La Plata, Missouri on 12 October 1904. He was raised on a ranch in remote Wyoming, then returned to Missouri with his family at the age of 15. He finished school there, then learned telegraphy at college. (He originally planned to be a banker, but discovered that telegraph operators earned $20 more a week than bank tellers.) In 1925, he took a job as telegrapher for an oil company in Ponca City, Oklahoma where he met and married Norma Gersling. In 1926, he took a job as telegrapher for the Associated Press syndicate in Chickasha, Oklahoma.
          During slack times, such as on the graveyard shift, he wrote stories; the first 13 were rejected, but the 14th tale sold; Top Notch Magazine published his action story "Pirate Cay" in their September 1929 issue. This led to an offer from Dell Publishing in New York City to write for them exclusively for an incredible $500 a month; the Dents moved to New York City in January 1931. Dent learned well the business of writing for pulp magazines, and wrote many stories, some of which sold to other publishers. In 1932, pulp publisher Street & Smith asked Dent to write a series with a gadget-oriented detective hero; Dent was not happy that the stories would be published under the 'house name' of Kenneth Robeson, but he accepted the offer of $500 per novel (which was later raised to $750).
          Doc Savage Magazine #1 hit the stands in March, 1933, and was an immediate success. Dent's financial abundance allowed him time to pursue research and studies, much like Doc Savage; Dent acquired an amateur radio license and a pilot's license, passed several trade exams, and purchased a two-masted schooner. He and his wife lived on the boat for several years, sailing up and down the East Coast, and also traveled extensively; he became a member of the exclusive Explorers Club.
          In 1940, the Dents settled in La Plata; his writing continued and got better: the plots moved away from science and toward mystery, and Doc Savage's character was more evident. Doc Savage Magazine ceased publication in 1949; Dent continued writing Western and mystery stories. He suffered a heart attack in February 1959, supposedly while on a 'treasure cruise'; he died at home in La Plata on 11 March 1959, and is buried in the town cemetery.

Lester Dent entry at Wikipedia
meager Lester Dent movie credits [1957-75] at Internet Movie Database

A History of Doc Savage

          Lester Dent created the character of Doc Savage at the request of pulp publisher Street & Smith of New York City. Doc Savage Magazine debuted in March 1933, and within six months was the top-selling pulp magazine in America. Dent described his hero as a mix of Sherlock Holmes' deductive abilities, Tarzan's outstanding physical abilities, Craig Kennedy's scientific education, and Abraham Lincoln's goodness, and also as manifesting 'Christliness'.
          Street & Smith published 181 Doc Savage novels; 179 were credited to 'house name' Kenneth Robeson; and all but twenty were written by Dent. (The first Doc Savage novel, "The Man of Bronze", was credited to Kenneth Roberts; the March 1944 issue, "The Derelict of Skull Shoal", was credited to Lester Dent by accident.) The last issue from Street & Smith was in July 1949. Other writers of Doc Savage tales during that time included William G. Bogart (1939-1947), Harold A. Davis (1934-1946), Lawrence Donovan (1935-1937), Alan Hathway (1941), and W. Ryerson Johnson (1935-1938).

          The main character is Clark Savage, Jr. Other characters added over time include Doc's cousin Pat (Patricia) Savage; Monk, an industrial chemist (full name Lt. Colonel Andrew Blodgett Mayfair); Monk's ugly pig Habeas; Long Tom, an electrical engineer (full name Major Thomas J. Roberts); Ham, a lawyer & financier {full name Brigadier General Theodore Marley Brooks); Ham's pet monkey Chemistry; Renny, a construction engineer (full name Col. John Renwick); and Johnny, an archeologist & geologist (full name William Harper Littlejohn). (The characters of Monk and Ham act like children and fight with each other over petty matters, and each named their pet to antagonize the other.)
          Doc's scientist father had the boy tutored to become a physician, surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher, and musician; he was trained in martial arts and in philosophy. He maintains offices in the Empire State Building, a secret hangar on the Hudson River, and a 'Fortress of Solitude' in the Arctic. His costs are covered by a gold mine given to him by the Mayan people in the first Doc Savage novel; he and his team learned the Mayan language so that they can communicate out loud without others knowing what is said.

          All 181 novels were reprinted in paperback by Bantam Books; the first 96 contained one novel per book; the next 15 books were paired novellas; the remainder were published in 13 'omnibus' volumes. The "Doc Savage, Man of Bronze" feature film of 1975 was a critical and box-office dud. "The Red Spider" [July 1979] was a long-lost 1948 manuscript written by Lester Dent; Philip José Farmer wrote "Escape From Loki", published in August 1991. Pulp historian (and executor of Dent's literary estate) Will Murray wrote seven Doc Savage novels based on Lester Dent outlines; they were published by Bantam from 1991 to 1993. Sanctum Books is reprinting the original magazines (with original cover art), and Black Dog Books is publishing a 'Lester Dent Library' of non-Savage stories by Dent.

          As-of early 2010, Columbia Pictures is bringing Doc Savage back to the big screen! Neal H. Moritz is producing, co-writer Shane Black is set to direct from a screenplay co-written by Anthony Bagarozzi & Chuck Mondry. Still no movie in 2015, but Shane Black is still listed on IMDb as director.

          Announced 5/2016: Action actor Dwayne Johnson said that he will team with director Shane Black to bring the pulpy action hero Doc Savage to life in a new film, from a screenplay by Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry. The project has long been in development at Sony Pictures, which bills the title as a 'franchise starter'. Johnson also will produce the pic through his Seven Bucks Productions banner along with Hiram Garcia. Neal H. Moritz, Ori Marmur, Michael Uslan, and F.J. DeSanto.

Doc Savage entry at Wikipedia

pulp fans will also enjoy Spirit of America's
Edgar Rice Burroughs [1875-1950] Page and the 'Tarzan' Movies Page
and the Robert E. Howard [1906-36] & Conan the Cimmerian Page


Doc  Savage  Novels  &  Stories

browse Doc Savage series books at Amazon
List of the Doc Savage Novels at Wikipedia
browse books by pen name Kenneth Robeson at Amazon

"The Red Spider" [July 1979] was a long-lost 1948 Doc Savage tale written by Lester Dent


Anthony Tollin's Nostalgia Ventures & Sanctum Books
new authorized reprints of The Shadow and Doc Savage!
publisher homepage

Doc Savage Collector Set (direct from publisher): Doc Savage, Volumes 1-20 [2008]
Nostalgia Ventures 10x7 pb set [2008] 20 books for $259.00 via Amazon third party
#1 "Fortress of Solitude" & "The Devil Genghis"
#2 "Resurrection Day" & "Repel"
#3 "Death In Silver" & "The Golden Peril"
#4 "Land of Always Night" & "Mad Mesa"
#5 "The Spook Legion" & "The Submarine Mystery"      
#6 "The Polar Treasure" & "Pirate of The Pacific"
#7 "The Lost Oasis" & "The Sargasoo Ogre"
#8 "The Sea Magician" & "The Living-Fire Menace"
#9 "The Majii" & "The Golden Man"
#10 "Dust of Death" & "The Stone Man"
#11 "Cold Death" & "The South Pole Terror"
#12 "The Squeaking Goblin" & "The Evil Gnome"
#13 "Brand 0f The Werewolf" & "Fear Cay"
#14 75th Anniv. "The Man Of Bronze" & "The Land of Terror"
#15 "The Red Spider & Other Cold War Thrillers"
#16 "The Secret In The Sky" & "The Giggling Ghosts"
#17 "The Czar of Fear" & "The World's Fair Goblin"
#18 "The Monsters" & "The Whisker of Hercules"
#19 "The King Maker" & "The Freckled Shark"
#20 "The Thousand-Headed Man" & "The Gold Ogre"


Other  Fiction  by  Lester Dent
browse all books by Lester Dent at Amazon
browse non-Doc Savage works by Lester Dent at Amazon

Honey in His Mouth pulp thriller novel by Lester Dent  "Honey In His Mouth" pulp thriller novel [orig 1956]
by Lester Dent

A mysterious mastermind recruits a smalltime con man and his girlfriend into international intrigue involving a South American dictator, his beautiful mistress, a corrupt physician, and a complex embezzlement scam worth millions in gold.
Hard Case Crime mass pb [9/2009] for $7.99
Sinister Ray pulp novel by Lester Dent   "The Sinister Ray" pulp thriller graphic novel [1987]
by Lester Dent, Illustrated by Ron Wilbur

Gryphon Books 8¼x5½ pb [11/87] out of print/used
Lester Dent's Zeppelin Tales anthology edited by Matthew Goodman  "Lester Dent's Zeppelin Tales: Five Stories of Airships! Cannibals! Pirates! Gold!"
[2006] Edited by Matthew Goodman, Introduction by Will Murray

Heliograph 9½x7¼ pb [6/2006] for $25.76
Dead Men's Bones, Air Adventure Stories of Lester Dent book edited by Tom Roberts   The Lester Dent Library, Volume 1
"Dead Men's Bones: The Air Adventure Stories" [8 stories 2009]
Edited by Tom Roberts, Introduction by Will Murray

"8 thrilling tales by the creator of Doc Savage"; cover art by George Rozen
Black Dog Books 9x6 pb [7/2009] for $24.95
Skull Squadron, Air War Stories of Lester Dent book edited by Tom Roberts  The Lester Dent Library, Volume 2
"The Skull Squadron: The Air War Stories" [11 stories 2009]
Edited by Tom Roberts, Introduction by Will Murray

"11 thrilling adventures by the creator of Doc Savage"; cover art by Rudolph Belarski
Black Dog Books 9x6 pb [7/2009] for $24.95
Hell's Hoofprints, Western Trails Tales of Lester Dent book edited by Gene Christie  The Lester Dent Library, Volume 3
"Hell's Hoofprints: The Complete Western Trails Tales" [18 pieces 2009]
Edited by Gene Christie, Introduction by Will Murray

Black Dog Books 9x6 pb [3/2009] for $24.95



Sequels,  Radio & Motion Pictures,  Other Media

±            ±

List of the Doc Savage Radio Episodes (1934, 1943 & 1985) at Wikipedia
26-episode 15-minute radio serial, 1934
20-episode half-hour radio series, 1943
13-episode half-hour radio series from N.P.R., 1985

Doc Savage: The Lost Radio Scripts book by Lester Dent  
"Doc Savage: The Lost Radio Scripts of Lester Dent" [2009]
Edited by Tom Roberts

Moonstone Books 9x6 pb [2/2009] out of print/used
Moonstone Books Limited Edition hardcover [2/2009] out of print/scarce

"Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze" feature film
[Warner Bros. June 1975]
Doc Savage, Man of Bronze 1975 movie poster  Spoof of 1930s serials and pulp action heroes, often described as 'too campy'. Wealthy crime fighter Doc Savage and his helpers The Amazing Five travel to Hidalgo and battle Captain Seas and 'the green death' to revenge Doc's father's murder and capture a hoard of Incan treasure in the process. Produced & co-written by George Pal; directed by Michael Anderson; co-written by Joe Morhaim; starring Ron Ely, Paul Gleason, William Lucking, Michael Miller, Eldon Quick, Darrell Zwerling & Paul Wexler
Warner Bros. color DVD [6/2009] for $17.99
Warner Bros. color VHS [1/94] for $27.99
27"x40" poster from Amazon for $16.95
full credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia

"Escape From Loki" Doc Savage novel [Aug 1991] by Philip José Farmer

"Python Isle" novel [Oct 1991] by Lester Dent/Will Murray
"White Eyes" [March 1992] by Lester Dent/Will Murray
"The Frightened Fish" [July 1992] by Lester Dent/Will Murray
"The Jade Ogre" ]Oct 1992] by Lester Dent/Will Murray
"Flight Into Fear" [March 1993] by Lester Dent/Will Murray
"The Whistling Wraith' [July 1993] by Lester Dent/Will Murray
"The Forgotten Realm" [Nov 1993] by Lester Dent/Will Murray

"Pat Savage: Woman of Bronze" comic [Oct 1992]
Doc's cousin Pat Savage appeared in almost 40 Doc Savage adventure tales, including as main character
& narrator of the 1948 Doc Savage story "I Died Yesterday"; this 1992 comic was a single issue.
http://www.amazon.com/Pat-Savage-Bronze-Lester-Dent/dp/B002FCHSLK/

Doc Savage, Man of Bronze graphic novels reprints  "Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze" graphic novels [2010]
Written by Roy Thomas, Steve Englehart, Gardner Fox &
Tony Isabella, Illustrated by Ross Andru

reprinted 1972 comic versions of "Man of Bronze", "Death In Silver",
"The Monsters" & "Brand of The Werewolf"
DC Comics 10¼x6½ pb [6/2010] for $12.23

"Doc Savage movie project" [Sony/Columbia Pictures - in development]  
Announced 2/2010: To be produced by Neal H. Moritz and co-written & directed by Shane Black; co-written by Anthony Bagarozzi & Chuck Mondry.
Announced 5/2013: Riding his success as director of "Iron Man 3", Shane Black confirmed that he will co-write & direct the new Doc Savage movie;
NEWS 2015: hunky Chris Hemsworth has agreed to portray Doc Savage • latest info at IMDb
Announced 5/2016: Action actor Dwayne Johnson said that he will team with director Shane Black to bring the pulpy action hero Doc Savage to life in a new film, from a
screenplay by Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry. The project has long been in development at Sony Pictures, which bills the title as a 'franchise starter'. Johnson also will
produce the pic through his Seven Bucks Productions banner along with Hiram Garcia. Neal H. Moritz, Ori Marmur, Michael Uslan, and F.J. DeSanto.


Works  About  Lester Dent  &  Doc Savage

Doc Savage Apocalyptic Life biography by Philip José Farmer  "Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life - The Complete Story of The Man of Bronze, America's Supreme Superhero" [1973]
by Philip José Farmer

Bantam mass pb [1975] out of print/scarce
Doubleday hardcover [1973] out of print/used
Lester Dent biography  "Lester Dent: The Man, His Craft & His Market" [1995]
by M. Martin McCarey-Laird

Hidalgo Publng 8¼x5¼ pb [1/95] for $11.95
History of the Doc Savage Adventures book by Robert Michael Cotter  "A History of The Doc Savage Adventures In Pulps, Paperbacks, Comics, Fanzines, Radio & Film" [2009]
by Robert Michael 'Bobb' Cotter

McFarland & Co. 10x7 hardcover [10/2009] for $44.00

"Writings In Bronze" [] by Will Murray
http://www.amazon.com/Writings-Bronze-Will-Murray/dp/1452822549/

http://www.pjfarmer.com/woldnewton/Doc_Savage_Circles_Wold.pdf


Principal  Characters

main character Dr. Clark Savage, Jr.

Doc's cousin Pat (Patricia) Savage

industrial chemist Monk (full name Lt. Colonel Andrew Blodgett Mayfair)

Monk's ugly pig Habeas

electrical engineer Long Tom (full name Major Thomas J. Roberts)

lawyer & financier Ham {full name Brigadier General Theodore Marley Brooks)

Ham's pet monkey Chemistry

construction engineer Renny (full name Col. John Renwick)

archeologist & geologist Johnny (full name William Harper Littlejohn)


Family  &  Friends


L i n k s

Lester Dent entry at Wikipedia
meager Lester Dent movie credits at Internet Movie Database
Lester Dent Bibliography by Will Murray {PDF file} at Vintage Library
Lester Dent page at Vintage Library

The Lester Dent Museum of Pulp History [est. 2007] in La Plata, Missouri {defunct}

Doc Savage entry at Wikipedia
Doc Savage Wiki
List of the Doc Savage Novels at Wikipedia
Hidalgo Trading Company Doc Savage Organized fansite & blog
Hidalgo Trading Company Doc Savage Info fansite & blog
RS's Doc Savage: The Supreme Adventurer fansite
reviews by 'Dr. Hermes' of all 182 Doc Savage books
Paul Cook's Doc Savage Images Gallery
JG's Adventure House Publng - Everything PULPular Culture [est. 1985] based in Maryland

Doc Savage Magazine July 1935 issue 'Quest of Qui' poster
Doc Savage Magazine
July 1935 issue
'Quest of Qui'

11"x17" poster for $17.99
from Amazon

official logo from Doc Savage paperback artwork
Doc Savage Magazine Summer 1949 issue 'Up From Earth's Center' (devil) poster
Doc Savage Magazine
Summer 1949 issue
'Up From Earth's Center'

11"x17" poster for $27.29
from Amazon


here on the Lester Dent [1904-59] & Doc Savage Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

top of pageLester Dent profileDoc Savage profileDoc Savage novels & storiesother fiction

other worksworks about Lester Dent & Doc Savageprincipal charactersfamily & friendslinks

˜                   ˜

Online sales in association with  browse Doc Savage series books at Amazon

top of this page   |   back to Spirit of America Bookstore homepage