.

COMMUNITY PROFILE

Born July, 1889 
Malden Massachusetts 
Lived in Ventura, CA 
Wrote 131 fiction novels
Wrote 29 books
Wrote 271 TV episodes
Wrote 20 movies for TV
Wrote 6 motion pictures 
Died March 11, 1970
Erle S. Gardner School

POPULAR BOOKS BY
Erle Stanley Gardner

Top of the Heap
The Sulky Girl
The Counterfeit Eye

 

ERLE STANLEY GARDNER

Stanley Gardner Poetry Contest in Old Town Temecula

Erle Stanley Gardner was an American lawyer and author of detective stories who also published under the names Kyle Corning, Charles M. Green, Carleton Kendrake, Charles J. Kenny, Les Tillray, and Robert Parr. He created the fictional lawyer and crime-solver Perry Mason. Under the penname A. A. Fair he wrote a series of stories about private detectives Bertha Cool and Donald Lam.

Erle Stanley Gardner was born in Malden, Mass, On July 17, 1889. He moved west to California at the age of ten and though he traveled though out the world he considered himself a lifelong Californian. He passed the bar at the age of twenty-one practicing law in Oxnard, California where he established himself as a force to be reckoned with by his brilliant and unorthodox defense of the Chinese Community. After his marriage he moved to Ventura where he went into partnership with Frank Orr establishing a prosperous law firm that still exists today. Ventura, California was the birthplace of the most successful fictional lawyer in literary history--a fact that Ventura has yet to acknowledge.

The lawyer-turned-writer, best known for bringing Perry Mason to life through novels, radio, film and television, moved from his home and law office in Ventura, California, and settled in Temecula on a 3,000-acre ranch he dubbed "Rancho del Paisano." Remaining there from 1937 until his death on March 11, 1970, he was an inexhaustible writer, sometimes dictating 5,000 words to one of his four secretaries before breakfast. He also indulged his outdoorsman spirit by exploring the rugged ranch with his dogs. Gardner credited his dog "Rip" with finding Temecula. The Temecula school district named the Erle Stanley Gardner Middle School to honor this famous Temecula resident.

In 1943, "The New Adventures of Perry Mason" first aired on CBS Radio and in September of 1956, "Perry Mason" debuted on CBS Television. The weekly series aired from 1957 - 1966 and can still be seen on many stations throughout the world.

Rancho del Paisano is also the location of the largest California Live Oak in the world. It stands 96 feet tall, with a trunk circumference of 20 feet and a branch spread of 590 feet. It is estimated to be at least 800 years old. This tree is so big that at first sight, most people think it is a grove of trees rather than just one large tree. 

The ranch is located on Pechanga Parkway, past the Pechanga Casino. The property is privately owned by the Pechanga Tribe, who view the land as sacred and are very respectful of the tree and the rest of the area. Occasionally tours of the tree are available by appointment. Contact the Pechanga Tribal Council Cultural Department at 951-308-9295 for more information. 

 
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