"I am not really wicked. Love me, and you will see!"

French mystery-novelist, playwright and journalist. Gaston Leroux was born on May 6th, 1868. His father was a wealthy storeowner. He attended school in Normandy and trained as a lawyer on his father’s instructions. On his father’s death Leroux inherited a small fortune, which he proceeded to drink and gamble his way through in less than a year. Finding himself broke, he started to work as a reporter and theatre critic. By 1890 he was a full-time journalist. He began to write novels in the early 1900s and then decided to try and better Conan Doyle and Poe with his own mystery stories. He wrote a number of extremely popular detective novels, the most famous of which was La Mystere de la Chambre Jaune (The Mystery of the Yellow Room, 1907). Their central character was an amateur detective known as Rouletabille for his bullet-shaped head. By trade the man, Joseph Raul, is a journalist and crime reporter. By 1909, Leroux was famous enough to resign from journalism and take up writing full time. He is probably best known for his creation of the eponymous hero in The Phantom of the Opera (1910), which has been staged and filmed a number of times. Leroux achieved a reasonable level of fame towards the end of his life, and he resided at his beautiful home, the ‘Palace of the North Star’.

However, he suffered from ill health on account of his obesity. He died on April 15th, 1927 at the age of 59 from an acute urinary infection.


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