Born in Campden Hill, Kensington, London, Chesterton was educated at St. Paul's, and later went to Art School to become an illustrator. In 1900, Chesterton was asked to write a few magazine articles on art criticism, which sparked his interest in writing. He went on to become one of the most prolific writers of all time. Chesterton's writings displayed a wit and sense of humor that is unusual even today, while often time making extremely serious comments on the world, government, politics, economics, philosophy, theology, or a hundred other topics.
Chesterton wrote 100 books, several hundred poems, 200 short stories, 4000 essays and a few plays. He was a columnist for the Daily News, Illustrated London News and his own paper, G.K's Weekly. In the United States, his writings on distributism were popularized through The American Review, published by Seward Collins in New York. He was a literary and social critic, historian, playwright, novelist, Catholic Christian theologian, debater and mystery writer. His most well-known character is the priest-detective Father Brown, although The Man Who Was Thursday, arguably his most well-known novel, does not concern Father Brown at all.
Chesterton was a large man, standing 6 feet 4 inches and weighing in at around 300 pounds. Chesterton had a unique look, usually wearing a cape and a crumpled hat, with a swordstick in hand, and usually a cigar hanging out of his mouth. Chesterton rarely remembered where he was supposed to be going and would even miss the train that was supposed to take him there. It was not uncommon for Chesterton to phone his wife, Frances Blogg, whom he married in 1901, from some distant (and incorrect) location to ask her where he was supposed to be going.
Some conservatives today have been influenced by his support for distributism.