Sinclair Lewis

Novelist + Short Story Writer + Playwright
Born Feb 7, 1885

Harry Sinclair Lewis was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. In 1930, he became the first writer from the United States to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters.… Read More

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1885 Birth Born February 7, 1885, in the village of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, Sinclair Lewis began reading books at a young age and kept a diary. … Read More
1891 6 Years Old Lewis's mother, Emma Kermott Lewis, died in 1891. … Read More


1902 17 Years Old In late 1902 Lewis left home for a year at Oberlin Academy (the then-preparatory department of Oberlin College) to qualify for acceptance by Yale University. … Read More
1903 18 Years Old He entered Yale in 1903 but did not receive his bachelor's degree until 1908, having taken time off to work at Helicon Home Colony, Upton Sinclair's cooperative-living colony in Englewood, New Jersey, and to travel to Panama. … Read More


1912 27 Years Old Lewis's first published book was Hike and the Aeroplane, a Tom Swift-style potboiler that appeared in 1912 under the pseudonym Tom Graham.
1914 29 Years Old 1 More Event
Sinclair Lewis's first serious novel, Our Mr. Wrenn: The Romantic Adventures of a Gentle Man, appeared in 1914, followed by The Trail of the Hawk: A Comedy of the Seriousness of Life (1915) and The Job (1917). … Read More


1925 40 Years Old Lewis divorced Grace in 1925.
1928 43 Years Old 1 More Event
On May 14, 1928, he married Dorothy Thompson, a political newspaper columnist.
1930 45 Years Old 1 More Event
They had a son, Michael Lewis, in 1930. Their marriage had virtually ended by 1937, and they divorced in 1942. … Read More


1937 52 Years Old After an alcoholic binge in 1937, Lewis checked in for treatment to the Austen Riggs Center, a psychiatric hospital in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. … Read More
1940 55 Years Old In the autumn of 1940, Lewis visited his old acquaintance, William Ellery Leonard, in Madison, Wisconsin. … Read More
1943 58 Years Old In 1943, Lewis went to Hollywood to work on a script with Dore Schary, who had just resigned as executive head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's low-budget film department to concentrate on writing and producing his own films. … Read More


1946 61 Years Old Sinclair Lewis had been a frequent visitor to Williamstown, Massachusetts. In 1946, he rented Thorvale Farm on Oblong Road. … Read More
1948 63 Years Old By 1948, Lewis had created a gentleman’s farm consisting of 720 acres of agricultural and forest land. … Read More
1951 66 Years Old Lewis died in Rome from advanced alcoholism on January 10, 1951, aged 65. … Read More
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