BRADY, CYRUS [TOWNSEND] (1861–1920). Author of some seventy
volumes of fiction and nonfiction, some having to do with seagoing or naval
heroes, Cyrus Brady was born 20 December 1861 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1883, he resigned
from the navy that October. Employed by railroads in Missouri and Nebraska, Brady in his spare time took up religious studies and became an
Episcopal priest. He then held a series of clerical posts in the Indian Territory and various western and eastern states.
Brady’s first novel, written in 1897, was very successful, and others quickly
followed. He became a full-time writer in 1901, continuing church work as
an avocation. Often drawing upon his naval background and his experiences
in the American West, Brady produced a steady stream of novels and nonfiction with considerable popular appeal at the time, though, with the exception of When the Sun Stood Still (1917), about the biblical hero Samson,
they are little read today. A number were adapted to the stage or motion
pictures. Works related to the sea include the biographies Commodore Paul
Jones (1900) and Stephen Decatur (1900) and the novels A Midshipman in
the Pacific (1904), For the Freedom of the Sea (1899), and Sir Henry Morgan,
Buccaneer (1903). Under Tops’ls and Tents (1901) is an autobiography with
anecdotes of his time at the Naval Academy. He died in Yonkers, New York.