Search SFE    Search EoF

  Omit cross-reference entries  

Dent, Lester

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

Icon made by Freepik from


(1904-1959) US author who began publishing work of genre interest with "Pirate Cay" for Top Notch Magazine in 1929; best known for his Doc Savage novels, which he created in 1933 and wrote for Doc Savage magazine under the House Name Kenneth Robeson (which see for full description); Dent wrote solo all but 43 of the 181 issues. He also wrote stories under his own name and other crime stories under the pseudonym Tim Ryan. Throughout his career, though pre-eminently before World War Two, Dent was noted for his quite astonishing facility in the creation of Inventions of every sort, and for the technical plausibility of his descriptions of them in the midst of tales told at his usual pounding pace. His prose was described by James Steranko as exhibiting a "bravura frenzy".

Lester Dent, the Man Behind Doc Savage (1974) is a study by Robert E Weinberg; information about Dent and about his work appears also in Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life (1973) by Philip José Farmer. The most complete study is Bigger than Life: The Creator of Doc Savage (1990) by Marilyn Cannaday. Dent was also famous in Pulp-magazine circles for his Master Plot: the action-suspense formula he claimed never failed. [PN/JC]

Lester Dent

born La Plata, Missouri: 12 October 1904 [1905 has also been given]

died La Plata, Missouri: 11 March 1959



Doc Savage (in order of magazine publication)

collections (in order of book publication)

other titles

  • The Sinister Ray (Brooklyn, New York: Gryphon Publications, 1987) [coll: two stories first published in Detective Dragnet in 1932 and one in Chapters in 1980: Lynn Lash Scientific Detective: pb/Ron Wilber]
  • Lester Dent's Zeppelin Tales (no place given: Heliograph, Inc, 2006) edited by Matthew Goodman and Will Murray [coll: stories published in various magazines, 1930-1932: pb/]

about the author


previous versions of this entry

This website uses cookies.  More information here. Accept Cookies