- E. B. White
name= E.B. White
birthname= Elwyn Brooks White
July 11, 1899
Mount Vernon, New York
deathdate= October 1,
Elwyn Brooks "E. B." White (
July 11, 1899– October 1, 1985) [cite web | author=BBC Home | title=EB White - Most Companionable of Writers | date=23 July 2007 | url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A21723671| accessdate=2008-05-31] was an American writer. He wrote children's books like Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little.
White graduated from
Cornell Universitywith a Bachelor of Artsdegree in 1921. He picked up the nickname "Andy" at Cornell, where tradition confers that moniker on any male student surnamed White, after Cornell co-founder Andrew Dickson White. While at Cornell, he worked as editor of " The Cornell Daily Sun" with classmate Allison Danzigwho later became a sportswriter for " The New York Times". White was also a member of the Quill and Daggersociety and Phi Gamma Delta(FIJI). He wrote for " The Seattle Times" and " Seattle Post-Intelligencer" and worked as an ad man before returning to New York Cityin 1924.
He published his first article in "
The New Yorker" magazine in 1925, then joined the staff in 1927 and continued to contribute for six decades. Best recognized for his essays and unsigned "Notes and Comment" pieces, he gradually became the most important contributor to "The New Yorker" at a time when it was arguably the most important American literary magazine. He also served as a columnist for " Harper's Magazine" from 1938 to 1943.
In the late 1930s, White turned his hand to children's fiction on behalf of a niece, Janice Hart White. His first children's book, "
Stuart Little", was published in 1945, and " Charlotte's Web" appeared in 1952. "Stuart Little" received a lukewarm welcome from the literary community at first, due in part to the reluctance to endorse it by Anne Carroll Moore, the retired but still powerful children's librarian from the New York Public Library. However, both went on to receive high acclaim and in 1970, jointly won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, a major prize in the field of children's literature. In the same year, he published his third children's novel, " The Trumpet of the Swan". In 1973, that book received the Sequoyah Award from Oklahoma and the William Allen White Award from Kansas, both of which were awarded by students voting for their favorite book of the year.
In 1959, White edited and updated "
The Elements of Style". This handbook of grammatical and stylistic dos and don'ts for writers of American Englishhad been written and published in 1918 by William Strunk, Jr., one of White's professors at Cornell. White's rework of the book was extremely well received, and further editions of the work followed in 1972, 1979, and 1999; an illustrated edition followed in 2005. That same year, a New York composer named Nico Muhly premiered a short opera based on the book. The volume is a standard tool for students and writers and remains required reading in many composition classes.
In 1978, White won an honorary
Pulitzer Prizefor his work as a whole. Other awards he received included a Presidential Medal of Freedomin 1963 and memberships in a variety of literary societies throughout the United States.
White married Katharine Sergeant Angell in 1929, also an editor at "The New Yorker", and author (as Katharine White) of "
Onward and Upward in the Garden". They had a son, Joel White, a naval architect and boatbuilder, who owned Brooklin Boatyard in Brooklin, Maine. Katharine's son from her first marriage, Roger Angell, has spent decades as a fiction editor for "The New Yorker" and is well-known as the magazine's baseballwriter. White was related to James White who was a Methodist preacher in Missouri.
White died on October 1,
1985, at his farm home in North Brooklin, Maine. He was buried beside his wife at the Brooklin Cemetery. [Elledge, Scott (January 1, 1986). "E.B. White: A Biography".]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A21723671 White's life and career]
* [http://www.mrrena.com/misc/rotime.shtml "The Ring of Time"] -(essay by E.B. White)
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