Happy Birthday, Erle
Born today in Malden, Massachusetts, in 1889, the creator of America's most famous fictional lawyer. Erle Stanley Gardner qualified as a lawyer himself without attending law school, only working in a law firm. After passing the bar, he made his living defending poor immigrants in California, and writing an enormous number of stories. He finally settled into the Perry Mason novels, and wrote more than 80.
Here I must add that as well as the tv series I remember so well, there were a lot of movies made in the 30s - with a Perry Mason Raymond Burr wouldn't have recognized (especially the boozy Nick-Charles-wannabe from The Case of the Lucky Legs)!
There were also some good movies made of the DA series (yes, the other side of the battle) one of which featured Jim Hutton in the starring role.