Lyman Frank Baum was born in 1856 in Chittenango in the state of New York. Educated mostly at home due to ill health, he was encouraged by his wealthy father to pursue his early interests in journalism and playwriting. He started his first magazine aged 15, had his own theatre at 24 and worked for many newspapers and periodicals before turning to children's fiction with stories he had made up for his own four sons. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900, was his third bestselling book in as many years, and launched the series of Oz titles. Baum had moved with his family to Hollywood following the huge success of the books and stage adaptations. His own Oz Film Manufacturing Company failed to capitalise on the stories, and the hugely popular movie The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland, was not made until 20 years after Baum's death in 1939.
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