American journalist and writer, whose best-known ebook is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900). Baum's stories about the imaginary Land of Oz belong to the classics of fantasy literature. The Oz series was long shunned by librarians, and neglected by scholars of children's literature. Baum has often been compared to Lewis Carroll - they both had a girl as a protagonist in their most famous works.
L. Frank Baum was born in Chittenango, New York, as the son of the oil magnate Benjamin Ward Baum and Cynthia (Stanton) Baum, a women's rights activist. He was privately tutored at home and spent two years at Peekskill Military Academy (1868-69).
In 1873 Barrie became a reporter on the New York World. Two years later he founded the New Era weekly in Pennsylvania. He was a poultry farmer with B.W. Baum and Son and edited Poultry Record and wrote columns for New York Farmer and Dairyman. In New York Baum acted as George Brooks with May Roberts and the Sterling Comedy in plays which he had written. He owned an opera house in 1882-83, and toured with his own repertory company. In 1882 he married Maud Gage; they had four sons.
Baum returned in 1883 to Syracuse to the family oil business and worked as a salesman in Baum's Ever-Ready Castorine axle grease. His own endeavor was not successful - Baum's Bazaar general store failed in South Dakota, and from 1888 to 1890 he ran the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer. He moved to Chicago, and tried sales positions. In 1897 he