Walter Pierson the Carthusian Martyr Carthusian Martyrs Frederick Phelps the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church Fred Phelps Johnston McCulley (February 2, 1883 – November 23, 1958) was the author of hundreds of stories, fifty novels, numerous screenplays for film and television, and the creator of the character Zorro. Many of his novels and stories were written under the pseudonyms Harrington Strong, Raley Brien, George Drayne, Monica Morton, Rowena Raley, Frederic Phelps, Walter Pierson, and John Mack Stone, among others. McCulley started as a police reporter for The Police Gazette and served as an Army public affairs officer during World War I. An amateur history buff, he went on to a career in pulp magazines and screenplays, often using a Southern California backdrop for his stories. Aside from Zorro, McCulley created many other pulp characters, including Black Star, The Spider, The Mongoose, and Thubway Tham. Many of McCulley's characters—The Green Ghost, The Thunderbolt, and The Crimson Clown—were inspirations for the masked heroes that have appeared in popular culture from McCulley's time to the present day. Born in Ottawa, Illinois, and raised in Chillicothe, Illinois, he died in 1958 in Los Angeles, California, aged 75.