Doctor Death, Black Mask writer Harold Ward

January 5

Harold Ward’s Doctor Death

Doctor Death writer Harold Ward was born on this date in 1879. He is one of the many writers featured in The Beginner’s Guide to Pulp Fiction Volume 2.

Ward wrote hundreds of stories for the pulps, but his most well-known creations today are the Doctor Death stories.

Ward was born in 1879 and worked as a journalist before getting his start in the pulps. His first pulp stories were in the late 1910s in outlets like Snappy Stories and Argosy. By the 1920s he was writing for Black Mask, under his own name and multiple pen names.

His story “The Skull” appeared in the first issue of Weird Tales (March 1923) and he continued to write for the magazine through the 1930s.

When Dell’s All Detective Magazine became Doctor Death with the February 1935 issue, Ward (writing under the pen name “Zorro”) wrote the adventures of Dr. Rance Mandarin, a former professor and master of the occult. The stories headlined that magazine for three issues before reverting back to its former name.

Ward’s pulp career appears to have been over by 1940. He died in 1950.

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