Gaston Louis Alfred Leroux was a French author, journalist, film maker and a pioneer of the modern detective thriller.
He is best known for his novel The Phantom of the Opera (1910).
Born in Paris, Leroux studied to be a lawyer and graduated in 1889. He inherited a large sum of francs (millions of) and proceeded to spend it until he was almost bankrupt. He was forced back to work and started working as a journalist covering court cases, the theatre and current events. He was in Russia during the 1905 Russian Revolution.
He left journalism to concentrate on fiction in 1907 and The Mystery of the Yellow Room was his first novel. The Mystery of the Yellow Room is still considered one of the greatest ‘locked-room’ mysteries of all time.
A lover of modern ideas, in 1919 he formed a film company with Arthur Bernède, called Société des Cinéromans, so he could write novels and then film them.