Frederick Schiller Faust (May 29, 1892 - May 12, 1944) was an American western fiction author. Faust wrote mostly under five pseudonyms, though he is primarily known by one, Max Brand, today. Faust was born in Seattle and both his parents died soon after. He grew up in central California and later worked as a cowhand on one of the many ranches of the San Joaquin Valley. Faust attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he began to write frequently. He did not attain a degree, as he was deemed a troublemaker, and he began to travel extensively.
During the 1910s, Faust started to sell stories to the many emerging pulp magazines of the era. Faust attempted to enlist when the United States joined World War I in 1917, but was denied entry. In the 1920s, Faust wrote furiously, achieving success and fame. He soon became overworked and was diagnosed by a doctor with an undefined heart condition. Faust continued to travel and write a massive amount of material, working in many genres. He invented the western character "Destry" and the non-western character "Dr. Kildare," later a popular television series.
In the 1930s, Faust joined the literary trek to Hollywood and wrote scripts. When World War II broke out, Faust insisted on doing his part by becoming a front line correspondent. Faust was quite famous at this point and the soldiers enjoyed having this popular author among them. While traveling with American soldiers as they battled Germans in Italy, Faust was mortally wounded and died in a fox hole in 1944.
Faust wrote in many genres, though he is mainly known today for his thoughtful and literary westerns. Though Faust did work as a cowboy and did travel extensively throughout the west, the authenticity of his westerns is credited to the large amount of western lore he kept on file and to the depth he put in his characters.
Faust also managed a massive outpouring of fiction, rivaling Edgar Wallace and especially, Isaac Asimov as one of the most prolific authors of all time, and he may have published more than 500 books worth of novels and short stories.