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US English-Of Mice and Men: John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck, widely regarded as one of the most influential voices in American literature, enjoyed a comfortably middleclass upbringing in and around Salinas, California. The son of a schoolteacher and a local politician, Steinbeck spent his summers as a young man working on nearby ranches and migrant farms—an experience that provided him with the material for some of his most famous works, including Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, and East of Eden. Steinbeck studied literature at Stanford but failed to graduate, and in 1925 moved to New York City to pursue a career as a writer. He struggled to publish, and returned to California in 1928, where he and his wife lived humbly while receiving financial support from Steinbeck’s parents throughout the Great Depression. Steinbeck published his first novel, Cup of Gold, in 1929, and in the 1930s hurtled to success as a chronicler of both California’s history and its contemporary struggles through fiction and nonfiction. The anti-capitalist, pro-worker sentiments of his major works—most prominently displayed in The Grapes of Wrath—made Steinbeck a controversial figure who drew the ire of the CIA, the IRS, and J. Edgar Hoover. The winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize for Literature, Steinbeck has been inducted into the California Hall of Fame and his work is hailed to this day for its realism. (LitCharts)

Quick Facts (Salinas Public Library)

John Steinbeck Quick Facts
Born February 27, 1902, 132 Central Avenue, Salinas California, in the front bedroom of the home
Graduated from Salinas High School in June of 1919
Attended Stanford University, 1919-1925
Died of a heart attack in New York, December 20, 1968
Buried in the Garden of Memories Cemetery family plot in Salinas
Steinbeck Family
Father: John Ernst Steinbeck, 1863-1935, Monterey County Treasurer
Mother: Olive Hamilton Steinbeck, 1867-1934, teacher​
Esther Steinbeck Rodgers, April 14, 1892-May 9, 1986, lived in Watsonville
Elizabeth Steinbeck Ainsworth: May 25, 1894-October 20, 1992, lived in Pacific Grove
Mary Steinbeck Dekker, January 9, 1905-January 23, 1965, buried in family plot
Carol Henning Steinbeck Brown, married1930, divorced from Steinbeck1942, livedinCarmel Valley, died February 8, 1983 at the Community Hospital in Monterey
Gwyndolyn Conger Steinbeck, married 1943, divorced 1948, died December 30, 1975 in Colorado
Elaine Anderson Scott Steinbeck, married 1950, widowed 1968, died 2003, buried in the Garden of Memories in Salinas
Thom Steinbeck, born August 2, 1944, author
John Steinbeck IV, June 12, 1946, died February 7, 1991
(mother of Thom and John IV is Gwyndolyn)
Awards and Honors
1935  Commonwealth Club of California Gold Medal for Best Book by a Californian (Tortilla Flat)
1936  The California Novel of 1936 Prize (In Dubious Battle)
1938  New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award (Of Mice and Men)
1939  Member of National Institute of Arts and Letters – American Booksellers’ Award
1940  Pulitzer Prize Fiction Award (The Grapes of Wrath)-New York Times 5-7-1940, 1:2
1946  King Haakon Liberty Cross (The Moon Is Down) 1948 Member of American Academy of Arts and Letters
1962  Nobel Prize for Literature
1963  Honorary Consultant in American Literature to the Library of Congress
1964  United States Medal of Freedom
Trustee of John F. Kennedy Memorial Library Annual Paperback of the Year Award
Press Medal of Freedom
1966 Member of National Arts Council
1979 U.S. Postal Service issued a John Steinbeck Commemorative Stamp 1984 American Arts Gold Medallion of Steinbeck issued by the U.S. Mint 

John Steinbeck - Nobel Prize Author | Mini Bio | BIO

Stage Plays and Adaptations

Of Mice and Men (1937), (1975), (2014)
Tortilla Flat (1938)
The Moon is Down (1942)
Burning Bright (1950-musical)
Pipe Dream (1955-musical; based on Sweet Thursday)
Here's Where I Belong (1968-musical; based on East of Eden) 
The Grapes of Wrath (1990)

Film Adaptations

Of Mice and Men (1939), (1968-tv), (1981-tv), (1992
The Grapes of Wrath (1940
Tortilla Flat (1942)
The Moon Is Down (1943)
The Pearl (1947), (2016)
The Red Pony (1949), (1973-tv)
East of Eden (1955), (1981-miniseries) 
The Wayward Bus (1957)
Cannery Row (1982)
The Winter of Our Discontent (1983-tv)
In Dubious Battle (2016)
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