Writer's Almanac: It's the birthday of writer Erle Stanley Gardner, (books by this author) born in Malden, Massachusetts (1889). As a teenager, Gardner was arrested for promoting an illegal boxing match. While he was trying to keep himself out of jail, he became fascinated with the law and got a job as a typist in a law office. He taught himself the law while he worked and thent took the bar three years later and passed. After a stint working for a sales agency, he opened up a law office in Ventura, California, in 1921 and became famous there for his ironclad defenses. Because defending poor people is not the best way to make money, Gardner augmented his income by writing stories for pulp magazines—and he was quite successful at it. In 1933, Gardner wrote a full-length novel called The Case of the Velvet Claws, which was turned down by several publishers. It was finally bought by a publisher who suggested Gardner take the main character, a brilliant lawyer, and write a series of books about him.