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Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Famous “Wild West” Novelist Zane Grey Died in Altadena 79 Years Ago Tuesday
By ANGELA UNDERWOOD
Famed American author Zane Grey died too soon.
The Altadena resident, who passed away from heart failure on October 23, 1939, still remains a presence in the region.
Renowned for his “Wild West” storytelling, Zane composed volumes of work that were later produced into motion pictures after migrating to California from Ohio and Pennsylvania, where he was born and raised.
The author—most known for Rider of the Purple Sage—was a dentist before he was a writer.
“Grey’s interest in dentistry was half-hearted at best, and he did not relish the idea of replicating his father’s safe but unexciting career,” according to History.com. “Searching for an alternative, Grey decided to try his hand at writing; his first attempt was an uninspiring historical novel about a family ancestress.”
But Grey got better.
His success as an author is what enabled him and his wife, Dolly, and their children to move from the East to West Coast, settling in Altadena after 1910 when Heritage of the Dessert was released. Then came Riders of the Purple Sage in 1912, leading Grey to compose 78 other books that would sell 31 million copies by 1955.
However, reading one of Grey’s books is not the only way to get to know the author. The Zane Grey Estate at 396 E. Mariposa Street in Altadena is now an Airbnb that receives five-star ratings and rave reviews from some guests who have there.