You might not recognize the name of Edward Stratemeyer (October 4, 1862 – May 10, 1930), but I'll bet you a quarter he had an impact on your childhood reading.
Stratemeyer was an American children's writer and publisher. He is best known as the creator of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, a collective of ghostwriters responsible for the well-known series that Stratemeyer developed. These include the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins, the Rover Boys, and others. Stratemeyer created the characters and hired the ghostwriters, and might have developed the outlines for some of the earliest books in the series.
Although most of the series he created were not written by Stratemeyer, he reportedly, according to one source, wrote 1300 books on his own under a number of pseudonyms, many of them serials that first appeared in newspapers or magazines, and sold over 500 million copies.
Not a bad career for a guy you've never heard of.