Mark Evanier reports the death of Danton Burroughs, longtime caretaker of Edgar Rice Burrough’s estate:

Danton Burroughs — the grandson of Edgar Rice Burroughs and a major force in keeping that man’s work alive — left us Wednesday evening at the age of 64. He had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for some time and died at his home in Tarzana, a suburb named for his grandfather’s legendary creation. He was the son of John Coleman Burroughs, who was himself distinguished in the arts as a photographer and illustrator.

I didn’t know Burroughs, but once, while following up yet another rumor on the John Carter of Mars front, I decided to just call the office number on the ERB website, and ended up speaking to him a bit. Even in a brief conversation, it was quite evident he was much the character, but for me it was a thrill to talk to ERB’s grandson and hear him talk about the Tarzan musical and so on. John Carter is now landed at Pixar, so let’s hope all of Danton’s hard work and dedication pays off some day.


  1. The photo you have used was taken by me and is used in
    the Danton Burroughs Tribute Site:

    You can see many more photos and remembrances at that official site.

    Bill Hillman
    Editor and Webmaster for the
    Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute Sites

  2. Strangely, I was in Tarzana last week, and met Danton for the first time on Tuesday, the day before his unfortunate passing.

    I was out to lunch at IHOP with Lou Scheimer (founder of Filmation), doing more interviews for his upcoming biography, LOU SCHEIMER: CREATING THE FILMATION GENERATION (out Fall from TwoMorrows).

    Danton came over and said Hi to Lou, then was introduced to me. He had an extremely firm handshake. We discussed the book, and he invited us to come over to the house to go through the files to see what we could find on Filmation’s Tarzan for use in the book. I mentioned that I’d only be there for another day-and-a-half, but if not this trip, perhaps another. We chatted about him doing the Tarzan yell on the series.

    He also talked for a bit about how excited he was with the work Pixar was doing on John Carter. He had just returned from their offices a day or two earlier and had seen early materials, and was quite enthusiastic. He also discussed with Lou his health, which seemed to be doing much better; the Parkinson’s medications were working well. I couldn’t even see a hint of him being anything but a guy in great shape and health!

    After about five minutes of chatting, he ambled off to pursue his day. I remarked to Lou how nice he had been and how healthy he seemed. We discussed whether or not we could make time to see him while I was still in town. Regrettably, we did not.

    We actually heard the sirens on Wednesday night (Danton lives just down the hill from the Scheimers) but didn’t know they were from the Burroughs place. Lou found out yesterday when speaking with a firefighter. He’s a bit sad, as he had known Danton for 30-40 years…

    My condolences to the Burroughs family and fans.

    Andy Mangels

  3. I am a antique dealer and dealt with Danton on a monthly basis at the flea markets. He was quite a collector and quite a pleasure to deal with. He will be greatly missed in the antique community. He always had a nice word to say.

  4. We live next to Danton. Not exactly “next-door” but our properties abut across a private road. Tuesday night my husband and I were watching TV when a neighbor from a block away called asking what was going on at our end of the street. She said four fire trucks had just gone by. Five. And another. Only then we heard the sirens.

    Out on the street the neighbors had gathered as the firemen tried to locate the right house and then to figure out the best way to access the property.

    It’s all too sad to recall but soon the fire was extinguished. It had been isolated to one room. It was lucky that his daughter Dejah was home. Lucky that she had smelled smoke and called 911 so quickly. It was a good thing it hadn’t happened while everyone was sleeping. We talked to the departing firemen asking how Danton was holding up. He told us the paramedics had just checked him out and he was doing fine under the circumstances. A bullet mostly dodged. Or so it seemed.

    The next day we went up to his house to see if he needed help. The family was there. They had managed to isolate most of the damaged object in one area. Danton came out of his house seeming very distracted. Understandable. He seemed unable to look at the rescued items lying on his driveway. Understandable. He loved his treasures. Had a story for each of them. But on that Wednesday afternoon he was rushing out for an appointment. And off he went. We never saw him again.

    Leaving our house Thursday morning, I see a huge hook and ladder fire truck out front but assumed there was some sort of follow-up meeting with Danton. I went on my way. Returning an hour later I learned that Danton had died some time Wednesday night.

    The loss to those close to Danton cannot be over-stated. The entire aspect of Tarzana has suffered an immense blow. There was a sense that Danton would always be there and we could catch up on his latest flea market find or share his collection of rare doo wap records. Each passing conversation left me with the feeling that we had opened dozens of doors that we would later follow up on.

    Even knowing he was not in the best of health, he did not complain and tried valiantly to not alter his everyday activities. Few individuals experienced as much joy in life as Danton. Few are able to exude the essence of pure delight that Danton shared over something as simple as loving his eucalyptus trees or the raw beauty of a rusting object.

    This one is very hard to accept.

    My hope is that his legacy as the Keeper of the Tarzan/Tarzana/ERB legend, lore and history remains intact and looked after with the same love and affection as Danton had. I also hope that the community will initiate some sort of permanent memorial in his honor.

  5. I grew up taking summers on Catalina Island just 2 houses down from Mr. Burroughs. I grew up playing with his daughters, and was lucky enough to have met him. I remember when I was about 9 years old and all the neighborhood kids were outside playing. A bee had crawled under my shirt collar, and I just screamed so loud Dan came running out of his house. I showed him the bee on my shirt and he just grabbed it, threw it in his mouth and ate it. Or at least from a 9 year olds perspective he did…Either way he saved the day and thats a childhood memory I’ll never forget. Dan was a very generous, all round good man and his presence on this earth will be sorely missed.

  6. I went to high school with Dan and we served on reunion committies together. He didn’t attend our last one and has left a void in the good cheer we had from him. He was universally liked and is already missed.

  7. Dan was one of our favorite customers in the Antique business at the flea market! He would always come around first thing in the morning looking for a treasure and his favorite saying would be, ” Is there any excitement here!” He would always try to buy whether we had a treasure or not! He was like a kid in a candy store looking for the biggest piece of candy and
    he always had a smile for my husband Nick and myself. We will miss you Dan!
    Faye & Nick Dorazio

  8. I knew Dan for about 12 years…He would buy a lot of Rock and Roll 78’s from me. He was always looking hard for another “gem” to add to his collection. We enjoyed a lot of the same music, Elvis, DooWop, etc…I had the chance to meet him in person for only a brief moment at one of the LA swap meets…I wanted to visit his house and see his collection, but he was running off to another function. I hadn’t talked with him in the last few years and that I will always regret. I remember him as a loving Dad, a great person, and a really hard worker keeping the Tarzan memory alive. May God bless and take care of his family. So long Dan…my friend.

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