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About Rex Stout
Author, Business Man, Sailor, Activist, Family Man, & a person with many interests

Rex Todhunter Stout was born in Noblesville, Indiana, December 1, 1886. He was the sixth of nine children born to John and Lucetta Todhunter Stout. Educated in Kansas, he was recognized as a prodigy in arithmetic. After a brief time on campus at the University of Kansas, Stout quit school to enlist in the Navy where he spent two years as warrant officer on board President Theodore Roosevelt's yacht.

After the Navy, he began to write for pulp fiction magazines and also tried his hand at a variety of jobs. With his brother, Robert, Stout devised and implemented a school banking system. Bank Day proved a very successful venture and allowed Stout retire from the business world and move to Paris to write full-time.

He published three novels before he turned to the mystery genre. The books received favorable reviews but were not best sellers. Following the 1929 stock market crash he lost a great deal of the money he had saved. He returned to the United States and continued to write serious novels for a few more years. In 1932 he moved from New York City to High Meadow, the house he built on the Connecticut-New York state line. In 1934 Rex Stout published his first Nero Wolfe novel, Fer-de-Lance.

More than seventy other Nero Wolfe books and stories followed. During World War II, Rex Stout waged a personal campaign against Nazism serving as chairman of the War Writers Board, wrote and broadcast the CBS radio program "Our Secret Weapon," and was a member of several national committees. After the war, he resumed writing Nero Wolfe novels. In 1959 he won the Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award. Rex Stout died October 27, 1975 at the age of 88. A month before his death, he published his final Nero Wolfe book, A Family Affair.

In addition to his politcal activities at a national level and his writing career, Mr. Stout was actively involved in various writers organizations to strengthen the copyright laws, served as his own media and publishing agent for magazines, paperback, hardcover, and foeign rights, and his hobbies included baseball (as an avid NY Giants and later NY Mets fan), chess, gardening and gardening organizations, reading (and working the names of his favorite books into Nero Wolfe's reading list), The Baker Street Irregulars, etc.

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Some of his many obituaries with general information about his life:

And this says it all:

"The odds are overwhelming that when hlstorians 'look at the bright blue late October of 1975 the only thing they will keep about the twenty-seventh is that it was the day Rex Stout died." Harry Reasoner on the ABC "Evening News," 27 October 1975. (John McAleer, Rex Stout: A Biography (Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1977), p. 531.)

Some general biographical articles:

Hundreds of Pages Added from the Stout Family's Archives

Don't miss exploring these glimpses into the life of a very complex man, the creator of one of the most memorable and re-read detective series ever.