Who Was Nicholas Carter?

And who wrote all those Nick Carter stories?

In a way, Nick Carter, arguably the most published character in American literature, had two daddies.

John R. Coryell was the man who actually wrote the first Nuck Carter story, “The Old Detective’s Pupil; or, The Mysterious Crime of Madison Square,” in the September 18, 1886 issue of Street and Smith’s New York Weekly. But he worked from an outline provided by Ormond G. Smith, the son of one of the founders of Street & Smith.

That first story turned out to be quite popular, as did the next two that Coryell wrote, but there was no way one writer could keep up with demand, and soon handed the character over to a multitude of other writers, whose work often appeared under the house name of “Nicholas Carter.”

Among the writers who penned the Nick Carter stories, novelettes and novels over the years:

  • A.L. Armagnac
  • Michael Avallone
  • William Perry Brown
  • George Waldo Browne
  • Frederick Russel Burton
  • Chickering Carter (pseudonym of Frederic van Rensselaer Dey, credited with writing over “several hundred” stories)
  • O.P. Caylor
  • Stephen Chalmers
  • Weldon J. Cobb
  • William Wallace Cook
  • S.A. D. Cox
  • Bill Crider
  • Frederick William Davis
  • E.C. Derby
  • Walter Bertram Foster
  • Charles Witherle Hooke
  • William Cadwalder Hudson
  • George Charles Jenks
  • Dennis Lynds
  • Gayle Lynds
  • Charles Agnw Maclean
  • Arnold Marmor
  • Valerie Moolman
  • Craig Nova
  • Robert J. Randisi
  • St. George Rathborne
  • Eugene T. Sawyer
  • Vincent Scott
  • Martin Cruz Smith
  • Samuel C. Spalding
  • Edward L. Stratemeyer
  • Alfred B. Tozer
  • R.F. Walsh
Preliminary list compiled by Kevin Burton Smith.

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