Clarence Budington Kelland

Clarence Budington Kelland

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Clarence Budington Kelland (1881 – February 18, 1964) was an American writer. He once described himself as "the best second-rate writer in America".

In a long and prolific career as a writer of fiction and short stories, he was published in many magazines. The Saturday Evening Post
The Saturday Evening Post
The Saturday Evening Post is a bimonthly American magazine. It was published weekly under this title from 1897 until 1969, and quarterly and then bimonthly from 1971.-History:...

and The American Magazine were his best markets. He published about sixty novels; juveniles at first, then reprints of his magazine serials.

Although largely forgotten now, a small number of his stories achieved some recognition, including Opera Hat, serial from The American
The American
The American is a 217 ft bronze statue of a Native American to be built at Holmes Peak near Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, by sculptor Shan Gray....

, which was the basis for the film Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town is a 1936 American screwball comedy film directed by Frank Capra, and starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur in her first featured role...

(1936), a short-lived television series (1969–70), and another film Mr. Deeds
Mr. Deeds
Mr. Deeds is a 2002 American comedy film, directed by Steven Brill and starring Adam Sandler and Winona Ryder. The movie, which is loosely a remake of the 1936 film Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, also stars Peter Gallagher, John Turturro, Allen Covert and Steve Buscemi...

(2002). One of his best-known characters was Scattergood Baines who was featured in six films from 1941–43, starring Guy Kibbee
Guy Kibbee
Guy Bridges Kibbee was an American stage and film actor.Born in El Paso, Texas, Kibbee began his entertainment career on Mississippi riverboats and eventually became a successful Broadway actor...

.

Kelland, who was born in Portland, Michigan
Portland, Michigan
Portland is a city in Ionia County of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 3,789. The city is situated in the south central portion of Portland Township, but is administratively autonomous.-Geography:...

, got his start as a newspaper reporter in Detroit. From 1907-15, he edited the Detroit magazine The American Boy
The American Boy
The American Boy was a monthly magazine published by The Sprague Publishing Co. of Detroit, Michigan from November 1899 to August 1941. At the time it was the largest magazine for boys, with a circulation of 300,000, and it featured action stories and advertising for the young boy.In 1911 a copy...

. From 1913-15, he lectured at the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...

 on writing and juvenile literature. From 1915 forward, he was a full-time freelance writer. He soon relocated to Long Island. In 1937, he bought a second home in Phoenix, where he spent the fall and winter.

From the mid-'20s forward, Kelland served as the toastmaster at the weekly luncheons of New York's Dutch Treat Club
Dutch Treat Club
The Dutch Treat Club is a society of illustrators, writers and performers based in New York City. Primarily social in nature, the club has had as members such leading literary figures and humorists as Robert Benchley, Rube Goldberg, Robert M. McBride, and Ogden Nash.-Founding:In 1905, Tuesday was...

.

Kelland was politically active as a Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

, running as the Republican National Committeeman from Arizona in the 1930s. His passionate dislike for the New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 seemed to have spurred his entry into national politics. Time magazine referred to him as "pugnacious," "vitriolic," "peppery," and "gaunt-faced" — a description at odds with the whimsical character of Kelland's fictional characters. He was as harsh on his fellow Republicans as he was on Democrats
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, blaming Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 for "wrecking" the party. He was particularly critical of Eisenhower's appointment of Earl Warren
Earl Warren
Earl Warren was the 14th Chief Justice of the United States.He is known for the sweeping decisions of the Warren Court, which ended school segregation and transformed many areas of American law, especially regarding the rights of the accused, ending public-school-sponsored prayer, and requiring...

 to the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

.

Kelland died in Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, adjacent to Phoenix. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2010 the population of the city was 217,385...

, in 1964.

See also


  • The American Boy
    The American Boy
    The American Boy was a monthly magazine published by The Sprague Publishing Co. of Detroit, Michigan from November 1899 to August 1941. At the time it was the largest magazine for boys, with a circulation of 300,000, and it featured action stories and advertising for the young boy.In 1911 a copy...

    (a magazine at which he was an Assistant Editor)
  • Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
    Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
    Mr. Deeds Goes to Town is a 1936 American screwball comedy film directed by Frank Capra, and starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur in her first featured role...

    (a movie based on his book Opera Hat)

External links