Ron Goulart, the prolific author whose books include a series of novels starring Groucho Marx as a private investigator, has died aged 89. New York Times reports

Born in California, Goulart worked in advertising before publishing his first books in the late 1960s. His earliest novels include science fiction works such as: After things fell apart and gadget man

He wrote more than 180 books in a wide variety of genres. He collaborated with William Shatner on the Tek series of science fiction novels, although the Time reports that according to his family, Goulart did all the writing himself.

In 1998 he published the first of his Groucho Marx Mysteries, Groucho Marx, chief detective† five more novels in the series would follow.

Goulart’s widow, Frances Sheridan Goulart, told the… Time that her husband was rarely short of ideas.

“Maybe he got writer’s block once, but it didn’t last long,” she said. “He would just switch from one genre to another if he got stuck.”

Goulart’s admirers paid tribute to him on social media. “We’ve lost another one of the greats”, tweeted writer Ian Martínez Cassmeyer. “#RonGoulart, one of the funniest SF writers out there, passed away this month at age 89 on the 14th… He may be gone, but he’s not forgotten.”

Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and a regular contributor to NPR.