Biography and History

Eugene O'Neill, famed playwright, was born on October 16, 1888, in New York City. O'Neill had a troubled youth, always traveling with his movie-star father and morphine-addicted mother. One of his brothers also died during childhood. O'Neill also briefly attended Princeton University for two years before being asked to leave. From 1909 to 1912, O'Neill was a wanderer, and it was during this time that he encountered many of the settings for his later plays. Towards the end of this journey, he sank into alcoholism and even attempted suicide. The alcohol compromised his health and in 1912 O'Neill went to the Gaylord Farm Sanatorium for tuberculosis. After the disease went into remission, O'Neill attended Harvard for a year to study creative writing. Four years later his first fully produced play, Beyond the Horizon, won a Pulitzer Prize. This began an extremely productive, though varyingly successful, era in O'Neill's life. In 1921 he won a second Pulitzer Prize for Anna Christie. Shortly thereafter, O'Neill's mother died, sending him back into alcoholism. After recovering from this, O'Neill started managing a theater in 1923. In 1928 he won a third Pulitzer Prize for Strange Interlude. Eight years later, while visiting a friend, O'Neill discovered that he had won the Nobel Prize for literature. The same year he moved to the west coast with his family, and while he was there wrote one of his best known works, The Iceman Cometh. In 1945 he moved back east. He passed away on November 27, 1953. Four years later his Long Day's Journey into the Night won a Pulitzer Prize.

Source: From the finding aid for C0281

Biography and History

Eugene O'Neill was an American playwright and Nobel Prize winner. Suspended from Princeton University, he spent a number of years at sea. O'Neill's first published play, Beyond the Horizon, opened on Broadway in 1920 to great acclaim, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. His best-known plays include Anna Christie (Pulitzer Prize 1922), Desire Under the Elms (1924), Strange Interlude (Pulitzer Prize 1928), Mourning Becomes Electra (1931), and Long Day's Journey into Night (Pulitzer Prize, 1957).

Source: From the finding aid for C0617