John Steinbeck was born February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California. Before becoming a successful writer, he dropped out of high school and was a manual laborer. His novel "The Grapes of Wrath"—about the migration of a family from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl to California—won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Steinbeck served as a war correspondent during World War II. He died in 1968.
John Steinbeck was born February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California. His father (John Ernst Steinbeck) did a variety of jobs throughout John’s life to keep his family fed. He did things like feed-and-grain store, managing a flour plant and being the treasurer of Monterrey County. His mother (Olive Hamilton Steinbeck) was a schoolteacher at one point. Steinbeck grew up with three sisters and had a happy childhood. He was very shy as a child but also very smart and developed an appreciation for the land, specifically California's Salinas Valley, which later influenced his writing greatly. It is said that when he was 14 he decided to be a writer and he often locked himself in his room to write poems and stories. In the year of 1919 Steinbeck enrolled at Stanford University. It is said that when he was 14 he decided to be a writer and he often locked himself in his room to write poems and stories. In the year of 1919 Steinbeck enrolled at Stanford University. He didn’t really see a reason to go to college, but he did it to please his parents. Over the next few years, he drifted in and out of school and eventually dropped out in the year 1925.
After leaving Stanford, he tried his hand as a freelance writer. He moved to New York City for a short time and found work as a construction worker and a newspaper reporter. He eventually went back to California and became a caretaker in Lake Tahoe. While doing this job, he wrote his first novel (Cup of Gold), and met and married a lady named Carol. With Carol’s support and paycheck, he continued to write. He wrote two other novels (The Pastures of Heaven and To a God Unknown), but he didn’t get any real success until he wrote Tortilla Flat. His finest book (The Grapes of Wrath) was published in 1939. The book, about a dispossessed Oklahoma family and its struggled to start a new life in California at the height of the Depression, captured how people felt and what they experienced during that time. This book sold over 10,000 copies a week and Steinbeck earned his Pulitzer Prize in 1940.
After his great success, Steinbeck served as a war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune during World War II. He also went to Mexico to collect marine life with his friend Edward F. Ricketts, a marine biologist. This resulted in the book (Sea of Cortez), which describes the marine life in the Gulf of California. In the last 25 years of his life, Steinbeck wrote many more books including East of Eden (1952), and Travels with Charley: In Search of America (1962). In 1962, he was awarded with the Nobel Prize for his Literature and died of heart disease on December 20, 1968, in New York City.
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