preview

John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California on February 27th, 1902. His mother, Olive Steinbeck, was a teacher and also was a major influence on John's writing. His father, John Steinbeck Sr., was a county treasurer. When Steinbeck was a child, during his summers off from school, he worked on a farm, which was a good experience for later writing. In the beginning of 1919, Steinbeck was accepted to the University of Stanford. Later, in 1925, he left without a degree. He wrote lots of short stories and articles for the College's newspaper. Steinbeck moved to New York to write, but had to support himself by being a construction worker. He started writing for the New York American, but didn't make enough, so had to keep his construction job. In 1929, Steinbeck returned to Salinas to write Cup of Gold. He had to work as a caretaker for a summer home in Lake Tahoe. In 1930, he meets Edward Ricketts, who gets him interested in marine biology. Steinbeck also married his first wife, Carol Henning. He publishes more novels such as the Pastures of Heaven, and To a God Unknown; but of all those, Tortilla Flat was his first selling novel. This was published in 1935. In 1936, he also published In Dubious Battle and in 1937, Of Mice and Men. Then, possibly one of Steinbeck's best selling/ greatest works, the Grapes of Wrath, was published. This publication won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book award in 1939. He told stories of families that were poor during the depression and of their powerless efforts against the government and society that has put them down. Steinbeck then traveled to Mexico to shoot the film Forgotten Village (documentary). When he returned to the United States, he became a war correspondent and wrote about the Second World War. He moved back to New York City and married Gywn Conger, in 1943. Then they had two sons, Tom, in 1944 and another son in 1946, named John IV. By 1948, Steinbeck divorced his wife, went to Russia three times, and lost his good friend, Edward Ricketts in a car crash. Then he quickly married Elaine Anderson Scott in 1950. By 1959, Steinbeck published several screenplays and served as a correspondent for the Vietnam War. In 1960, he toured the US with his poodle and recorded his travels and titling it Travels With Charlie.

More about John Steinbeck

Get Access