Sir Arther Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859 in Edinburgh,
Scotland. He was a promising young man so some of his wealthy family members paid for him
to attend Jesuit boarding school in England. While he was there, he found that he was an
incredible story-teller. His peers listened to his stories intently and he very much
enjoyed telling them.
After attending Jesuit, he went back to the University of Edinburgh
to become a doctor. While he was there, he met one of his teachers, Dr. Joseph Bell, and
would later apply many of his qualities to Sherlock Holmes (logic, deduction,
In 1880, Doyle wrote his first story, The Surgeon of Gaster
Fell, but it was not incredibly successful. In the early 1880s, he struggled to
become a successful writer and doctor, but he was having trouble with both. In 1886, he
began writing A Tangled Skein with main characters Sheridan Hope and Ormond
Sacker. It was finally published in 1888 by Beeton's Christmas Annual with the title
A Study in Scarlet with the characters called Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.
Although his medical and literary careers were both flourishing by
this time, Doyle had a near death experience with influenza. When he recovered, he
realized how silly he was for trying to combine careers and decided to give up his medical
practice. "'With a wild rush of joy,' he decided to abandon his medical career. He added,
'I remember in my delight taking the handkerchief which lay upon the coverlet in my
enfeebled hand, and tossing it up to the ceiling in my exultation. I should at last be
my own master'" (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Biography).
After awhile, Doyle decided to get rid of Sherlock Holmes in
The Final Problem where Sherlock and his arch nemesis, Moriarty, fall to their
deaths over the Reichenbach Falls. Doyle felt that Sherlock Holmes overshadowed his
better literature. Throughout his life, he was involved in The Boer War, World War I,
ran for a political office in Edinburgh, wrote more stories and plays and was even
interested in psychics and the paranormal. In 1929, he was diagnosed with Angina Pectoris
and died Monday July 7, 1930.