Grey's novels and short stories have been adapted into 112 films, two television episodes, and a television series, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater.
"Pearl"? There are a few guesses at how Grey was originally named Pearl - but nothing seems conclusive. He later dropped it.
Had a violent upbringing - often beaten by his father - and acted likewise - often brawling as a child.
Grey was an avid reader of adventure stories such as Robinson Crusoe as well as dime novels featuring Buffalo Bill and "Deadwood Dick". He also loved the the great illustrators Howard Pyle and Frederic Remington.
Zane wrote his first story, Jim of the Cave, when he was fifteen. His father tore it to shreds and beat him.
Grey attended the University of Pennsylvania on a baseball scholarship, where he studied dentistry.
He proved to be a poor scholar, but an excellent baseball player. He had to choose between Writing, Baseball or Dentistry, but unhappily concluded that dentistry was the practical choice.
Still tried his hand at baseball, but only earned a single major league game in 1903 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Moved to New York: dentist by day, writer by night.
Married, but was an habitual and open womanizer with many mistresses.
Despite many rejections and false starts, he kept on writing.
Finally it clicked: In 1912 published Riders of the Purple Sagehis all-time best-seller, and one of the most successful Western novels of all. Six movies have been made from this book.
Grey became one of the first millionaire authors. Was in the top ten best-seller list nine times.
Zane Grey was a major force in shaping the myths of the Old West; his books and stories were adapted into other media, such as film and TV productions. He was the author of more than 90 books, some published posthumously and/or based on serials originally published in magazines. His total book sales exceed 40 million.
Grey wrote not only Westerns, but two hunting books, six children's books, three baseball books, and eight fishing books (his real passion).
Many famous actors got their start in films based on Zane Grey books. They included Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott, William Powell, Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen, BusterCrabbe, Shirley Temple, and Fay Wray. Victor Fleming, later director of Gone with the Wind, and Henry Hathaway, who later directed True Grit, both learned their craft on Grey films.
Honors and awards
The National Park Service maintains his former home in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania as the Zane Grey Museum, a part of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River area.
His home in Altadena is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Zanesville, Ohio has a museum named in his honor, the National Road-Zane Grey Museum.
Zane Grey Terrace, a small residential street in the hillsides of Altadena, is named in his honor.
The Zane Grey Tourist Park Bermagui, Australia.
"Zane Greys'" a headland at the western end of Matapaua Bay, New Zealand.
The Zane Grey Continuation School is located adjacent to Reseda High School in Reseda, Los Angeles, California.
Zane Grey room is located at the Sigma Nu – Beta Rho house in honor of where Zane Grey lived for part of his time at the University of Pennsylvania.
Wilder Ranch State Park near Santa Cruz, California named the Zane Grey Trail after the author.