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Stout was a prolific writer known for the Nero Wolfe mystery series. He was born in Indiana in 1886, and was a math prodigy that studied at the University of Kansas. He quit school to enlist in the Navy. After his service, he tried a variety of jobs, and perhaps most importantly, he began to write. He published three well-received novels before turning to mysteries, and published the first Nero Wolfe novel in 1934.
Stout wrote more than 70 Nero Wolfe books and stories. In 1959, he won the Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award. He published the last Nero Wolfe book, "A Family Affair," shortly before his death in 1975.