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The grave of Fulton Oursler in Gate of Heaven Cemetery

Charles Fulton Oursler (January 22, 1893 Baltimore, Maryland - May 24, 1952) was an American journalist and writer.


He grew up in Baltimore, poor son of a city transit worker. His childhood passions were reading and stage magic. He reported for the Baltimore American before an editing job allowed him to move to New York City.

He was Supervising Editor of the various magazines and newspapers published by Barnarr Macfadden from 1921-41. He wrote several novels, many of which were of a religious, Christian nature, such as The Greatest Story Ever Told (1949), for which he is best-remembered; he also wrote detective stories and magazine articles under the pseudonym Anthony Abbot, as well as multiple plays, the most famous of which was the gimmick-filled The Spider (play) (1928), co-written with Lowell Brentano. The great success of the play attracted four plagiarism suits, which were successfully defended by Oursler's private attorney, Arthur Garfield Hays.

Oursler also wrote, as Abbot, the Reader's Digest article that was made into the movie Boomerang! (1947).

Another of his well-known books was Father Flanagan of Boy's Town, the story of Father Edward J. Flanagan's work with young men. The book was co-authored by Fulton's son Will Oursler, also a noted writer, and was later adapted into the movie Boys Town (1938), starring Spencer Tracy.

His second wife, former actress Grace Perkins, was a prodigious contributor to the Macfadden magazines. Several of her novels were made into films.

Fulton Oursler died in New York City in 1952, while halfway through writing his autobiography.



  • Merriam-Webster's Biographical Dictionary (1995)


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