Lovecraft, H(oward) P(hillips) (1890-1937), American writer of fantasy and horror, whose tales are often compared favorably with those of Edgar Allan Poe.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, August 20, 1890, Lovecraft was a sickly, precocious child whose parents died insane. At the age of 16 he was writing an astronomy column for the Providence Tribune. From 1908 until 1923 he eked out a livelihood from occasional stories in little magazines such as Weird Tales. His stories never earned him much, however, and he died in Providence, on March 15, 1937, in poverty and obscurity. About a decade later, his work began to receive serious attention. His tales tell of ghoul changelings, psychic possession, unspeakable evil, and mythical worlds in which time and space are dislocated, as in his Cthulhu Mythos stories. His work had considerable influence on fantasy and science fiction writers, and a cult developed. The stories were collected in several posthumous volumes, including The Outsider and Others (1939) and Haunter of the Dark and Other Tales (1951).