Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) was one of the most prolific writers of all time. Burroughs was discharged from the military upon the discovery of a heart condition. He bounced around, working many different types of jobs (a common theme among pulp writers). He spent time as a ranch-hand in Idaho, worked for his father, and began writing while he was a pencil-sharpener wholesaler. He took a chance on the pulps, because he believed he could come up with stories better than most of those he had read. Turns out, he was correct.
His first story (Under the Moons of Mars) appeared in serialized form in 1912 for “The All-Story”. It was eventually released in book form as A Princess of Mars. Burroughs was an opportunist first, artist second. The birth of Tarzan saw him exploit the character for every penny he could. He was ahead of his time with marketing and licensing deals. Tarzan was everywhere during his prime. This aspect of his personality doesn’t set well with many fans, but Burroughs saw writing as a way to make a living, not as an artistic outlet.
A little change in my recommendations for reading Burroughs. He created too many amazing worlds to list all of his must-reads here. To list a few random books from each series would not serve anyone interested in him well. Instead, I am listing his series as a whole.
Barsoom Series (1912-1948)
Tarzan (1912-1965, some published posthumously)
Pellucidar Series (1914-1963)
Venus Series (1934-1970)
Caspak Series (1918)
Moon Series (1926)
The Mucker Series (1914-1917)
Stand alone novels:
The Lost Continent (Beyond Thirty)(1916)
The Man-Eater (1915)
The Cave Girl (1925)
Jungle Girl (Land of the Hidden Men)(1932)