George Ade (February 9, 1866 – May 16, 1944) was an American writer, syndicated newspaper columnist, and playwright who gained national notoriety at the turn of the twentieth century with his “Stories of the Streets and of the Town,” a column that used street language and slang to describe daily life in Chicago, and a column of his fables in slang, which were humorous stories that featured vernacular speech and the liberal use of capitalization in his characters’ dialog. Ade’s fables in slang gained him wealth and fame as an American humorist, as well as earning him the nickname of the “Aesop of Indiana.” Ade’s notable early books include Artie (1896); Pink Marsh (1897); Fables in Slang (1900), the first in a series of books; and In Babel (1903), a collection of his short stories. Ade’s first play produced for the Broadway stage was The Sultan of Sulu, written in 1901. The Sho-Gun and his best-known plays, The County Chairman and The College Widow, were simultaneously appearing on Broadway in 1904. Ade also wrote scripts and had some of his fables and plays adapted into motion pictures.
The Purdue University graduate from rural Newton County, Indiana, began his career in journalism as a newspaper reporter in Lafayette, Indiana, before moving to Chicago, Illinois, to work for the Chicago Daily News. In addition to writing, Ade enjoyed traveling, golf, and entertaining at Hazelden, his estate home near Brook, Indiana. Ade was also a member of Purdue University’s board of trustees from 1909 to 1916, a longtime member of the Purdue Alumni Association, a supporter of Sigma Chi (his college fraternity), and a former president of the Mark Twain Association of America. In addition, he donated funds for construction of Purdue’s Memorial Gymnasium, its Memorial Union Building, and with David Edward Ross, contributed land and funding for construction of Purdue’s Ross–Ade Stadium, named in their honor in 1924.