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For the page about the author on whom this character is based, see Arthur Conan Doyle
Born in Edinburgh
in 1859, Arthur Conan Doyle was the son of an artist, Charles Altamont Doyle, and his wife, Mary Foley. He had a turbulent upbringing, but was able to attend good schools through the intervention of wealthy relatives. He attended the University of Edinburgh to study medicine, graduating in 1881.
Conan Doyle began writing while in university, having his first story published in 1879. His first Sherlock Holmes
story, A Study in Scarlet
, was published in 1886. The character became popular and brought Conan Doyle a great deal of fame. Despite this he eventually grew weary of the character and killed him off in 1893 in the hopes of focusing on his other works. This prompted public outcry, and he returned to writing Holmes briefly in 1901, and more permanently in 1903. In total he produced sixty Holmes stories, four novels and 56 short stories. He also produced dozens of other works in a variety of genres and formats. He was knighted in 1902.
In 1885 he married his first wife, Louisa Hawkins; their first child was born in 1889, the second in 1892. He met Jean Elizabeth Leckie in 1897 and fell in love with her, but remained with his wife out of faithfulness. A year after Louisa's death in 1906 he married Jean. Their first child was born in 1909, the second in 1910 and the third in 1912. After Louisa's death and the subsequent death of his eldest son Kingsley Conan Doyle became obsessed with Spiritualism, particularly with proving the existence of an afterlife. This quest consumed much of his later life, and got him involved in numerous paranormal cases, including the Cottingley fairies. He was also involved in social justice and political campaigning. He suffered a heart attack and died on July 7th, 1930. He was 71.