John O'Hara

Writer + Novelist + Narrator

John Henry O'Hara was an American writer. He earned a reputation first for short stories and became a best-selling novelist by age thirty with Appointment in Samarra and BUtterfield 8 (spelled with capital 'BU'). He was particularly known for an uncannily accurate ear for dialogue. O'Hara was a keen observer of social status and class differences, and wrote frequently about the socially ambitious. A controversial figure, O'Hara had a reputation for personal irascibility and for cataloging social ephemera, both of which frequently overshadowed his gifts as a storyteller. Writer Fran Lebowitz called him "the real F. Scott Fitzgerald. " John Updike, one of his consistent supporters, grouped him with Chekhov in a C-SPAN interview. By contrast, Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times dismissed him as "a well-known lout."… Read More

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about John O'Hara.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of John O'Hara.


1905 Birth Born on January 31, 1905.


1924 19 Years Old He attended the secondary school Niagara Preparatory School in Lewiston, New York, where he was named Class Poet for Class of 1924. … Read More


1928 23 Years Old He garnered much critical acclaim for his short stories, more than 200 of which, beginning during 1928, were published in the magazine The New Yorker. … Read More
1934 29 Years Old During 1934, O'Hara published his first novel, Appointment in Samarra, which was acclaimed when published. … Read More


1956 51 Years Old During World War II, O'Hara was a correspondent in the Pacific theater. After the war, he wrote screenplays and more novels including Ten North Frederick, for which he won the 1956 National Book Award. … Read More
1958 53 Years Old Ten North Frederick is a 1958 movie based on O'Hara's 1955 novel of the same title. … Read More
1960 55 Years Old The 1960 movie, From the Terrace, was adapted from O'Hara's 1958 novel of the same title. … Read More
1962 57 Years Old …  When John Steinbeck won the prize during 1962, O'Hara wired, "Congratulations, I can think of only one other author I'd rather see get it." … Read More


1965 60 Years Old His September 4, 1965 column deals entirely with his failure to have received any honorary degrees, going into detail about three honorary degrees he was actually offered but, for various reasons, did not accept. … Read More
1970 65 Years Old Died on April 11, 1970.
Original Authors of this text are noted on'Hara.
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.