John Steinbeck


John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. was an American writer. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937). As the author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books and five collections of short stories, Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of John Steinbeck.


1902 Birth Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California. … Read More


1919 17 Years Old Steinbeck graduated from Salinas High School in 1919 and went on to study English Literature at Stanford University near Palo Alto, leaving, without a degree, in 1925. … Read More


1928 26 Years Old 1 More Event
When he failed to publish his work, he returned to California and worked in 1928 as a tour guide and caretaker at Lake Tahoe, where he met Carol Henning, his first wife.
They married in January 1930 in Los Angeles, where, with friends, he attempted to make money by manufacturing plaster mannequins.


1933 31 Years Old In 1933 Steinbeck published The Red Pony, a 100-page, four-chapter story weaving in memories of Steinbeck's childhood. … Read More
1941 39 Years Old 1 More Event
Although Carol accompanied Steinbeck on the trip, their marriage was beginning to suffer, and ended a year later, in 1941, even as Steinbeck worked on the manuscript for the book.


1942 40 Years Old In 1942, after his divorce from Carol he married Gwyndolyn "Gwyn" Conger. … Read More
1943 41 Years Old In 1943, Steinbeck served as a World War II war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune and worked with the Office of Strategic Services (predecessor of the CIA). … Read More
1944 42 Years Old In 1944, suffering from homesickness for his Pacific Grove/Monterey life of the 1930s, he wrote Cannery Row (1945), which became so famous that Ocean View Avenue in Monterey, the location of the book, was renamed Cannery Row in 1958. … Read More
1947 45 Years Old In 1947, Steinbeck made the first of many trips to the Soviet Union, this one with photographer Robert Capa. … Read More
1948 46 Years Old 1 More Event
Steinbeck's 1948 book about their experiences, A Russian Journal, was illustrated with Capa's photos.
1950 48 Years Old …  Steinbeck and Scott eventually began a relationship and in December 1950 Steinbeck and Scott married, within a week of the finalizing of Scott's own divorce from actor Zachary Scott.


1952 50 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1952 Steinbeck's longest novel, East of Eden, was published. … Read More
1960 58 Years Old Travels with Charley: In Search of America is a travelogue of his 1960 road trip with his poodle Charley. … Read More


Apparently taken aback by the critical reception of this novel, and the critical outcry when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962, Steinbeck published no more fiction in the next six years before his death.
1964 62 Years Old In September 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded Steinbeck Presidential Medal of Freedom.
1967 65 Years Old In 1967, at the behest of Newsday magazine, Steinbeck went to Vietnam to report on the war.
1968 66 Years Old 1 More Event
John Steinbeck died in New York City on December 20, 1968, of heart disease and congestive heart failure. … Read More
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