Rex Beach

Rex Ellingwood Beach (September 1, 1877 – December 7, 1949) was an American novelist, playwright, and Olympic water polo player. Rex Beach was born in Atwood, Michigan to a prominent family and pursued a career as a lawyer before being drawn to Alaska at the time of the Klondike Gold Rush. After five years of unsuccessful prospecting, he turned to writing. His first novel, The Spoilers, was based on a true story of corrupt government officials stealing gold mines from prospectors, which he witnessed while he was prospecting in Nome, Alaska. The Spoilers became one of the best selling novels of 1906. His adventure novels, influenced by Jack London, were immensely popular throughout the early 1900s. Beach was lionized as the "Victor Hugo of the North," but others found his novels formulaic and predictable. Critics described them as cut from the "he-man school" of literature: stories of "strong hairy men doing strong hairy deeds." Alaska historian Stephen Haycox has said many of Beach's works are "mercifully forgotten today.

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