Born in Boston on January 30, 1866, Frank Gelett Burgess graduated from M.I.T. in 1887 with a B.Sc. and went to work as a draftsman, eventually becoming an instructor at the University of California at Berkeley. His gift was comic verse and fiction. In 1895-97 he edited The Lark in San Francisco and from then on contributed to magazines and published humorous novels, poems, and stories, including his elaborately illustrated The Burgess Nonsense Book (1901) and The Rubaiyat of Omar Cayenne (1904). He had moved to New York City in 1897 and married Estelle Loomis in 1914 but lived in Paris during the first world war. His main claim to fame was "The Purple Cow." He died on September 18, 1951, in Carmel, California.
- The National Cyclopedia of American Biography. New York: James T. White, 1917.