Mystery writer Erle Gardner was born on July 17, 1889 in Malden, Massachusetts. In 1902, he had moved to Oroville, CA. His parents could not afford to send a second son to college, so he worked in a legal office as a clerk reading law. He spent a short time at Valparaiso University in Indiana but had to drop out because of an illegal boxing exhibition. He continued to travel throughout California and read law at several law offices and finally passed the bar in 1911, at the age of 21. He married Natalie Francis Beatrice Talbert on April 9, 1912. In 1916, he formed the Law Firm of Orr and Gardner in Venture, CA. Gardner used many pseudonyms such as Charles Green, Kyle Corning and Grant Holiday. While working as an attorney, he began writing fiction. In 1921, "Nellie's Naughty Nighty" was published in the pulp magazine Breezy Stories. He had a goal of writing 100,000 words a month and would sometimes write two or more stories a day. In 1923, "The Shrieking Skeleton" was sold to the Black Mask Magazine. In the 1930's, Gardner had two manuscripts that were rejected and than "rediscovered" by Thayer Hobson, the president of the William Morrow Publishing Company, and rewritten as courtroom mysteries. During this process, the character Perry Mason was born. In 1933, the first Perry Mason book was written, "The Case of the Velvet Claws." The next one was entitled "The Case of the Sulky Girl" and they were followed by eighty-four more Mason mysteries.