Franklin W. Dixon was a pseudonym for countless writers who produced The Hardy Boys series of novels for boys. The real creator of the Hardy Boys was Edward L. Stratemeyer (1862-1930), a man responsible for countless juvenile fiction series, but not a writer himself. Stratemeyer would get an idea for a series and perhaps even write the first few plot outlines. If the first three books in a series sold well, he would continue the series. Stratemeyer wrote the plot outlines for the first nine Hardy Boys adventures. He would hire writers to flesh out the details, but they would be paid poorly and weren't allowed to reveal that Franklin W. Dixon did not exist.

However, one author can make a reasonable claim to be the mythical Franklin W. Dixon, Leslie McFarlane. He was the author of the first 11 books as well as four additional Hardy Boys books. His book, Ghost of the Hardy Boys details his involvement with The Hardy Boys series.

On a personal note, I still remember when my aunt told me that Franklin W. Dixon never existed. I was riding in a car with her on some business trip (she owned a bookstore) and I was reading some Hardy Boys Casefile. I asked her about Franklin W. Dixon, and she told me that he never existed. I was crushed. I had taken the news about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny in stride, but to learn that my favourite author never existed was just too much to take. I bare the scars to this day and still don't trust publishing companies.