Original name: Helen Weinstock. Social worker turned full-time young adult writer, born in Illinois but moved with family to New York City when she was seven. In 1934 Wells graduated from New York University [where she'd been the first female editor of the literary quarterly], with a major in philosophy and a minor in sociology and psychology. During World War II, she served as a volunteer with the State Department's Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, escorting Latin American visitors in the United States.Author of Cherry Ames, Nurse books, a series for young teens. She was also the author of the Vicki Barr books, about a young mystery-solving flight attendant. And, as Francine Lewis, she penned the short-lived Polly French series (1950s), aimed at a younger readership.After writing the first eight books of the Cherry Ames series and the first three Vicki Barr books, Wells decided to abandon both series to write for television and radio, and Julie Tatham took over (however, both the ninth Cherry Ames book and the fourth Vicki Barr book were published under Wells's name). Tatham later returned the Vicki Barr books to Wells in 1953 and the Cherry Ames books in 1955.