Margaret Frances Culkin Banning was a best-selling American author of thirty-six novels and an early advocate of women's rights. Banning was born in Buffalo, Minnesota, the daughter of William E. Culkin, who served in the Minnesota state senate from 1895 to 1899. She graduated from Vassar College in 1912. She was also the first woman admitted to the Duluth Hall of Fame. She died in 1982, at age 90, in Tryon, North Carolina.