Zane Grey was born in Zanesville, a small town in Ohio, which his great-grandfather Ebenezer Zane who founded, studied dentistry and practiced as a dentist. After he had met while traveling the American West, he became interested in the life of this region and to interest the history of the West. Early as 1902 he had been able to publish a first article in a magazine, but until his first major literary success, it takes a few more years. In 1910 he published his novel The Heritage of the Desert and became a bestseller. In the coming years, a success followed another, among them were such well-known works such as The Riders of the Purple Sage (1912, later named for the New Riders of the Purple Sage ) or The Border Legion, the overwhelming audience and often several times were filmed.
Grey became a bestselling author and the most important representatives of the American Western in the first four decades of the 20th century.
Mostly he wrote novels that romanticized life in the western United States, which described the conquest of the West from the perspective of whites, but also offered an accurate, at least in outline image of the historical West. In addition to the Wild West novels Grey has published numerous other books, such as fish and fishing.
His books almost always appeared in magazines or pulp magazines and were often reprinted according to the book publication as a serial novels in newspapers. From 1927 ( The Border Legion, in the original The Border Legion ) a number of his works have been translated into German and also reached a wide audience here.
Zane Grey, who had published more than 90 books, numerous short stories and articles in magazines, died on 23 October 1939. At this time there were more than 27 million of his books have been sold.
Zane Grey was one of the most important Western writers at all. His works have experienced in the United States millions of copies and the translations into other languages were very successful. There were also numerous film adaptations of his books, in which, inter alia, Randolph Scott and George Montgomery played the lead roles.
The novels show Grey's love for the landscapes and the people of the West, they often offer a romantic love story and action are not as stressed as modern Western novels by far. They mostly follow traditional narrative patterns, should be emphasized that the West Grey and his honor and morals often presented the citizens of the American East as a positive counterpart.
Grey's biographer Frank Gruber - even a successful Western and mystery writer - writes that The Riders of the Purple Sage and The UP Trail, the best Western were that he had ever read.
In Germany Grey's novels published mostly in book form, but occasionally also as paperback books. The translations were often reduced. At Greys German publishers were Knaur, AWA, Heyne and Bastion. The films often found their way into the German cinemas or on the German television screens.