Danton Burroughs, Chairman of the Board of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., who maintained the Tarzan legacy, dies at 63.
Danton Burroughs, a family man, businessman, and collector of art, artifacts and literary works, and protector and promoter of the legacy of his Grandfather, Edgar Rice Burroughs (the author of Tarzan of the Apes and other famous American literary works), died at home in Tarzana, California on May 1, 2008. Danton passed away in his sleep due to heart failure. Danton had previously been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
[On a side note] At a Parkinson’s Resource Organization event in 2005, in a Tarzan and the Foreign Legion book given to actor Larry Pressman, whose father and brother had Parkinson’s, was inscribed: “Edgar Rice Burroughs, my grandfather who wrote this book, had Parkinson’s; John Coleman Burroughs, his son and my father, who illustrated this book, had Parkinson’s, and I, who gives this book, have Parkinson’s” signed Danton Burroughs.
Throughout his younger years Danton lived in a magical world created by the novels of his Grandfather which was filled with all the exciting illusions of exotic lands and inner earths that included heroes and villains larger than life. It was an exciting world that stimulated his imagination and Danton’s future was clearly set before him. Danton became an officer and director of the family owned business of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. and was determined to keep his Grandfather’s legacy and fame alive. Danton’s engaging personality impressed all who knew him and his immense knowledge of the works and creations of his Grandfather allowed him to share his enthusiasm with business associates and friends. Danton was instrumental in the promotion and licensing of many diverse media properties, such as feature films, animated features, television series, daily and Sunday comic strips, live stage productions, theme park attractions, new editions of original novels and foreign editions, conventions, Burroughs Bibliophiles, fanzines, and comic books. Danton worked tirelessly, until the last day of his life, at Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., the company created by his Grandfather to market and promote his literary works and the characters he created like Tarzan Lord of the Jungle and John Carter of Mars. The company will continue to promote and foster the legacy of not only Edgar Rice Burroughs but also Danton through its President James Sullos and the members of the Burroughs Family who will honor Danton’s legacy by keeping his dream alive to share the wonderful and fantastical worlds and characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Danton also sold real estate in the early 1970s in the San Fernando Valley and Venice, California.
Danton’s personal passion was collecting art, artifacts, historical memorabilia and literary works. His vast and varied eclectic collections included Wurlitzer and Seeburg Jukeboxes, an extensive record collection, sheet music and artist’s memorabilia of all sorts, bronze sculptures, rare pocket watches, marbles, street lamps, literary works and writings. The collections were amazing.
Danton was a son of the San Fernando Valley. He was born on June 21, 1944 to John Coleman Burroughs and Jane Ralston Burroughs in Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, California. His Grandfather, Edgar Rice Burroughs, established the community of Tarzana with the renaming of the historic “Rancho del Cabrillo,” the “Tarzana Ranch” consisting of 550 acres which he had purchased in 1919 from the Estate of General Harrison Gray Otis, the former publisher of the Los Angeles Times and Mirror Company. Gen. Otis was one of the 5 principal partners in the “Suburban Homes Company” who in 1909 had purchased the southerly 47,500 acres of the San Fernando Valley and recorded Tract 1000 in 1910. General Otis had purchased from the syndicate the first parcel of this Tract which Burroughs now owned.
By 1922, Edgar Rice Burroughs had subdivided the northerly 100 acres of the ranch and was actively marketing the “Tarzana Tract” on the “Tarzana Ranch,” and as noted in the October 15th issue of the Los Angeles Examiner, “New Town of Tarzana Is Established.”
In 1927, the Tarzana Women’s Club asked Burroughs permission to use the Tarzana Ranch name which was later submitted with application for the establishment of the “Tarzana Post Office,” on December 16, 1930.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, General Harrison Gray Otis, and William Mulholland, Chief Engineer of the City Water Department, who brought water into the San Fernando Valley via the Los Angeles Aqueduct, were the giants of that time who set the stage for the subdivision and development of the San Fernando Valley into the suburban communities it is today.
Danton grew up in Tarzana and attended Tarzana elementary school, Ridgewood Military Academy in Woodland Hills, Sequoia Jr. High School in Reseda, and Reseda High School. He attended Los Angeles Pierce College, he belonged to the Tri Chi Fraternity, and he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts Degree.
Danton is survived by his wife Linda and daughters Jane and Dejah and brother John Ralston and sister Dian, who have vowed to continue to honor Danton’s legacy and that of his family by preserving and promoting the fantastical literary characters and creations of Edgar Rice Burroughs that so many Americans have enjoyed for almost a century.
All who knew him, loved him. He was a dear husband, father, brother, and friend to all and our hearts are deeply saddened by his passing.
For further insights into the life of Danton please see the following weblink: www.dantonburroughs.com
A Memorial Service to celebrate Danton will be held on Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.:
Tarzana Community & Cultural Center
19130 Ventura Blvd.
Tarzana, California 91356
(Corner of Vanalden Ave. and Ventura Blvd., Parking available on surrounding streets)
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the Danton Burroughs’ Memorial Fund at Parkinson’s Resource Organization:
Remembering Danton Burroughs
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