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Rex Todhunter Stout, best known as writer Rex Stout, was born in Noblesville, Indiana in 1886 and grew up in Kansas. He attended the University of Kansas, then served in the U.S. Navy for two years. Over the next four years, Stout held dozens of jobs while he also wrote stories which he sold to magazines. He was living in Europe when he became a full-time writer in 1927, taking on a variety of genres and forms. Returning to the United States, Stout wrote his first detective novel, Fer-de-Lance. This book, the debut of Stout's now-legendary fictional detective, Nero Wolfe, was also the first in a series. The last book in the chain, A Family Affair, was published in 1975 the year of Stout's death. Stout received the Silver Dagger Award and the Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award. His Nero Wolfe series was nominated Best Mystery Series of the Century and Stout was nominated Best Mystery Writer of the Century at Boucheron 2000.

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