Gaston Leroux was born in Paris in 1868. He grew up on the Normandy coast, where he developed a passion for fishing and sailing. He qualified as a lawyer but, upon his father's death, he received a large inheritance and left the law to become a writer. He first found fame as an investigative reporter on L'Echo de Paris and travelled the world in a variety of disguises, reporting on a wide range of topics from volcanic eruptions to palace revolutions. In 1907, he changed career once again and started work as a novelist, finding critical and commercial success with works such as The Mystery of the Yellow Room (1907) and The Phantom of the Opera (1910). Leroux continued to be a prolific writer until his death in 1927.