Norman Mailer

Novelist + Essayist + Journalist + Poet + Playwright
Died Nov 10, 2007
Death Place New York City, Ne...
Nationality American
Other Names Mailer, Norman Ki...

Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and film director. Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, John McPhee, and Tom Wolfe, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction, a genre sometimes called New Journalism, which superimposes the style and devices of literary fiction onto fact-based journalism.… Read More

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1923 Birth Born on January 31, 1923.
1927 4 Years Old Mailer's sister, Barbara, was born in 1927.
1930 7 Years Old His second sister, Norma, was born in 1930. … Read More


1941 18 Years Old At Harvard, he became interested in writing and published his first story at the age of 18, winning Story magazine's college contest in 1941. … Read More


1943 20 Years Old After graduating in 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. … Read More
1944 21 Years Old Norman's first marriage was in 1944, to Beatrice Silverman, whom he divorced in 1952. … Read More
1948 25 Years Old In 1948, while continuing his studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, Mailer published The Naked and the Dead, based on his military service in World War II. … Read More


1954 31 Years Old Mailer married his second wife, Adele Morales, in 1954. … Read More
1955 32 Years Old 1 More Event
His 1955 novel The Deer Park drew on his experiences working as a screenwriter in Hollywood in 1949–50. … Read More
1959 36 Years Old Mailer republished it in 1959 in a collection of essays entitled Advertisements for Myself.
1960 37 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1960, Mailer wrote "Superman Comes to the Supermarket" for Esquire magazine, an account of the emergence of John F. Kennedy during the Democratic party convention. … Read More
1961 38 Years Old In September 1961 Mailer was one of the original twenty-nine prominent American sponsors of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee organization that was the same organization that John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald also became a member of in 1963.
1962 39 Years Old His third wife, whom he married in 1962, and divorced in 1963, was the British heiress and journalist Lady Jeanne Campbell (1929–2007), the only daughter of Ian Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll and a granddaughter of the press baron Lord Beaverbrook. … Read More


1963 40 Years Old 1 More Event
In December 1963 Mailer and several of the other sponsors left it. (some of the original twenty-nine sponsors of the group included Truman Capote, Robert Taber, James Baldwin, Robert F. Williams, Waldo Frank, Carleton Beals, Simone de Beauvoir, Robert Colodny, Donald Harrington, and Jean Paul Sartre)
1967 - 1968 2 More Events
1969 46 Years Old In 1969, at the suggestion of Gloria Steinem, his friend the political essayist Noel Parmentel and others, he ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic Party primary for Mayor of New York City, allied with columnist Jimmy Breslin (who ran for City Council President), proposing the creation a 51st state through New York City secession. … Read More
1971 48 Years Old 1 More Event
At the December 15, 1971, taping of The Dick Cavett Show, with Janet Flanner and Gore Vidal, Mailer, annoyed with a less-than-stellar review by Vidal of Prisoner of Sex, apparently headbutted Vidal and traded insults with him backstage. … Read More


1973 50 Years Old Mailer's 1973 biography of Monroe (usually designated Marilyn: A Biography) was particularly controversial. … Read More
1977 54 Years Old In 1977, Abbott had read about Mailer's work on The Executioner's Song and wrote to Mailer, offering to enlighten the author about Abbott's time behind bars and the conditions he was experiencing. … Read More
In 1980, Mailer spearheaded convicted killer Jack Abbott's successful bid for parole.


1997 74 Years Old While in the short term, Morales made a physical recovery, in 1997 she published a memoir of their marriage entitled The Last Party, which recounted her husband stabbing her at a party and the aftermath. … Read More
2005 82 Years Old In 2005, Mailer co-wrote a book with his youngest child, John Buffalo Mailer, titled The Big Empty. … Read More
2007 84 Years Old 1 More Event
His final novel, The Castle in the Forest, which focused on Hitler's childhood, reached number five on the Times best-seller list after publication in January 2007, and received stronger reviews than any of his books since The Executioner's Song.
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