Arthur Conan Doyle
1859 - 1930
Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the legendary mythical detective Sherlock Holmes, died July 7, 1930. He was 71.
Doyle was born May 22, 1859 in Edinborough, Scotland. One of ten children, Doyle’s family was Catholic. He attended a Jesuit prep school in 1868. Six years later he entered the University of Edinborough. He furthered his education in 1881 when he received a master’s degree in biology.
In 1885, he got his M.D. degree and began practicing medicine. He wrote adventure stories in his spare time.
Doyle married Louise Hankins in 1885. They had two children. His wife died in 1900 of tuberculosis.
In 1887, one of Doyle’s adventure stories, about a fictional detective named Sherlock Holmes, was published. His character was based on an Edgar Allan Poe detective named C. Auguste Dupin.
And while he wrote other works, his Sherlock Holmes series of stories were his most popular. In 1892, the first of five collections of Holmes stories was published.
Doyle was more interested in writing historical novels, so he killed off his famous detective in 1894, but public pressure caused Holmes’ resurrection in 1903. Meantime, Doyle had been knighted and ran for Parliament on two unsuccessful occasions.
Doyle remarried in 1907 to Jean Leckie, who bore him three children.
He wrote his last Sherlock Holmes story in 1917, and by 1920 Doyle was one of the highest paid writers in the world. He began studying spiritualism, and wrote several books about the subject.
Doyle died of a heart attack on July 7, 1930 in Sussex, England, but Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes lived on.
A series of successful Hollywood movies were made in the 1930’s and 40’s, starring Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as his sidekick Dr. Watson. Several more movie versions followed as well as numerous television dramas about the famous detective.