Leslie McFarlane

Ghostwriter for the Hardy Boys books

Born: 25 October 1902 in Carleton Place, Ontario
Died: 6 September 1977 in Whitby, Ontario

Leslie McFarlane was a prolific author, writing 4 novels, 100 novelettes, 200 short stories, 75 TV plays, and many, many articles under his own name. He also wrote, produced, and directed 50 films for the National Film Board (NFB). However, he may be remembered most for the books on which his own name didn't appear: the much-loved Hardy Boys series.

In the mid-1920s, McFarlane was hired by the Stratemeyer Syndicate to ghostwrite the Hardy Boys books for $125 each, on the condition that he never reveal his authorship and that he never receive royalties. Under the pen name Franklin W. Dixon, McFarlane wrote more than twenty of the books, including the first sixteen. He also wrote the Dave Fearless series, using the pen name Roy Rockwood, and the first four books of the Dana Girls series, using the pen name Carolyn Keene.

Leslie McFarlane grew up in Haileybury, Ontario, where his family had moved in 1910, and he spent the last 41 years of his life in Whitby, home of the Leslie McFarlane Public School.

Additional trivia:

In 1968-69, McFarlane wrote several scripts for the TV show, Bonanza.

The Phantom Freighter, #26 in the Hardy Boys series, was actually written by McFarlane's wife, Amy, since Leslie was fishing in the Rockies when the assignment came in.

More information on:

Stratemeyer Syndicate

Suggested reading/viewing:

Hardy Boys books


By Name · M
By Province · Ontario
By Claim to Fame · Literature

Added 14 April 2002.