Born: October 29, 1906
Ohio connection: Birth
Brown was born in 1906 in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father, S. Karl Lewis, was a newspaperman and his mother, Emma Amelia, was a homemaker. Brown's early life was difficult. His mother passed away in 1920, when he was fourteen years old. His father died the following year. Fredric was left to live with friends and relatives through high school. After graduation, he got a job as an office boy with a small factory until the company closed in 1924. He then worked odd jobs and spent a year at Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana. In 1929, Brown married Helen Ruth, a woman he had known only through a series of letters they had exchanged by mail. In 1930 the couple moved to Milwaukee, where jobs were more plentiful. Again, he worked a number of odd jobs, including as a dishwasher, a stock clerk, and a busboy. In 1937 Brown sold his first mystery story. In addition to his mystery novels, Brown was also wrote science fiction novels and short stories. Fredric and Helen had two children and divorced in 1947. He married Elizabeth Charlier in 1948. Brown died in March of 1972, in Tucson, AZ.