Tom Curry: The Men Who Make The Argosy


Between the issues of January 25, 1929 and January 24, 1942, The Argosy published profiles about 141 of its leading writers. However sketchy some of these autobiographical pieces are, they provide the only available information about many of the adventure writers who contributed to this magazine. Wherever possible, we'll add newly researched articles about certain writers, and develop bibliographies of their magazine stories and books.

(Nov. 4, 1900 - Oct. 7, 1976)

We'll skip most of the facts about my early life, such as my birth in Hartford, Connecticut; living here and there while a boy; those years I spent at ColumbiaUniversity, where I took a chemical engineering course. I began writing stories while still in school. Unfortunately, the first three sold, which made me an author. I'm really sorry to admit that.

My first real writing job was a district reporter on the New York American, covering the Tenderloin district. Most police stories are small; but occasionally a big one breaks, for the first thing a detective or a cop does is to bring his prisoner to the nearest precinct station, fingerprint him while kicking him in the pants, book him, and enter him on the blotter.

There's always something doing around a station house. The drunks come in steadily on Saturday night. Along Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in New York, it's customary to hang one's coat on a firebox while fighting, which sometimes sets off the alarm. That means more pinches. Wife-beaters, murderers, petty thieves and gangsters who are picked up in the company of their arsenals, come in. And not the least exciting part of a reporter's job is chasing detective and trying to horn in first-hand on murders, fires and "collars; and in attempting to get inside tips.

While thus enjoying myself -- I'm really very shy -- by interfering with people's most intimate affairs, asking outrageous questions and so on, I met several very famous New York detectives. They have been very kind to me; and from what they have told me, I have written and sold several hundred police detective stories.

I have spent some time in Bermuda, and about three years ago I decided to take a little trip down to South America, for a change and a rest. Far be it from me to pose as a tough old adventurer, but I did run into a nasty voyage. The ship I went one (my mistake!) was thirty years too old; she had been broken in half and sewed together again with a needle and thread--not very strong thread at that. Of course she listed badly. The company who owned her had bought two old wrecks in order to start a line to rival one already in existence and so force the established line to buy the new one out.

On the way down, off Hatteras in a seventy-mile northeast gale, the bilge pumps stopped up and we nearly sang. Then the stewards staged a little mutiny.

I now live in Connecticut. My chief diversions and adventures are found in tennis and fishing. Writing is a great life -- though too often, I fear, I weaken and forget writing to go our on the hard court, or to lure the blackfish.

[Editor's Note: Tom Curry had been writing for ARGOSY for eight years when this profile appeared in the December 29, 1934 issue. While his name is probably unfamiliar to many of today's readers, Tom Curry was a very prolific writer of adventure, detective/mystery and Western fiction. When the pulp magazines folded, Curry shifted to writing paperback and hardcover novels mostly in the Western vein. We will pursue his career in the near future and hope to put online a bibliography in progress.]

Copyright 2001-2002 by Adventure

Posted by ds at January 18, 2003 05:03 PM

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