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Tarzana, U.S.A. — The U.S. Postal Service honored on August 17, one of the most prolific authors of the early 20th century and inventor of the iconic character Tarzan with the issuance of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Forever Stamp.
The stamp issuance coincides with the 100th anniversary of the publication of Burroughs’ first story, Under the Moons of Mars, and his first Tarzan story, Tarzan of the Apes, in 1912.
Best known for inventing the legendary character Tarzan, Burroughs wrote more than 70 books, including historical fiction and several popular series of science fiction tales.
At the Postal Service, we’re proud to honor wonderful writers like Mr. Burroughs,” said Giselle Valera, vice president and managing director, Global Business. “These creative geniuses make lasting contributions to our cultural heritage, and we want more Americans to learn about them. Our stamp featuring Mr. Burroughs continues this tradition.”
“Everyone has a favorite author when they are growing up,” said U.S. Postal Service Governor James Bilbray, who will help dedicate the Burroughs Forever Stamp. “For me, that writer was the man we honor today Edgar Rice Burroughs. I am very happy to see the legacy of Edgar Rice Burroughs endure.”
Scheduled to join Valera and Bilbray to dedicate the stamp at the ceremony were Congressman Brad Sherman, California State Senator Fran Pavley and San Fernando Valley Councilman Dennis Zine.
Honored guest speakers and participants will be Amaris Bryer, president, Tarzana Community and Cultural Center; James Sullos Jr., president Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.; Mark Sterling, member of the year, Woodland Hills – Tarzana Chamber of Commerce; Kerry Wolny, manager, Sierra Coastal District, U.S. Postal Service; and members of Burroughs’ family, including his grandson, John Burroughs; grand daughter-in-law, Linda Burroughs; and great granddaughters, Dejah Burroughs and Llana Jane Burroughs.
“We are deeply grateful to the Postal Service for this special recognition of the years of exciting adventures that Mr. Burroughs’ stories brought to the world throughout the first half of the 20th century,” said James Sullos Jr. “That all of his Tarzan stories plus many others remain in demand in the 21st century is a testament to his ability to entertain the reader like no other author.”
On behalf of the Burroughs family, Burroughs’ grandson John Burroughs said, “My grandfather, Edgar Rice Burroughs, would never have anticipated this honor that your stamp has given to our family and friends of his Tarzan stories. Please accept our sincere appreciation for this recognition of his contribution to the written words of America.”
The Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp is being issued as a Forever Stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce rate.
The artwork for this stamp depicts Tarzan, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ most famous literary creation, clinging to a tree by a vine in his left hand and wielding a weapon in his right. Burroughs appears in profile in the background.
To create this portrait of Burroughs, illustrator Sterling Hundley used a photograph taken by the author’s son, Hulbert Burroughs, in 1934. The photograph shows Burroughs reading a hardcover copy of Tarzan and the Lion Man, which was published the same year.
Burroughs began writing a book about a British child raised by apes in Africa, resulting in the story, Tarzan of the Apes, which was published in the October 1912 issue of All-Story magazine and issued as a book in 1914.
Tarzan is a ubiquitous part of American popular culture. Tarzan stories were published in magazines, syndicated in newspapers, and republished in more than 24 books, and featured in more than 50 movies. Tarzan also became the subject of a comic strip beginning in 1929, radio series in the 1930s and the 1950s, and several television series in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
Burroughs also wrote prolifically beyond the Tarzan series about John Carter of Mars and six books in the Pellucidar series, which focused on a world at the center of the Earth — a world also visited by Tarzan in the 1930 book Tarzan at the Earth’s Core.
Burroughs’ Mars books also are credited with popularizing what is now known as “planetary romance,” a highly popular genre that flourished in pulp magazines from the 1920s until World War II. Combining futuristic technology with anachronistic, feudal settings, these swashbuckling outer-space adventures inspired generations of science fiction writers and filmmakers.
Burroughs died in his California home March 19, 1950. “If there is a hereafter,” he said shortly before he died, “I want to travel through space to visit other planets.” In 1973, the Burroughs crater on Mars was named in his honor.