Fun Facts About John Steinbeck

Facts about John Steinbeck's life tend to surprise those who are interested in learning more about the award-winning author. While John Steinbeck is known as a great American novelists, the man who penned The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men and Cannery Row was hardly the fame-seeking, forthcoming type.

Early Years

  • Steinbeck claims Irish and German ancestry.
  • Steinbeck's mother, Olive Hamilton Steinbeck, passed her love of the arts to her son.
  • He had three sisters-two older and one younger.
  • As a child, Steinbeck's favorite book was Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory.
  • As a teenager, Steinbeck worked on local ranges as a hired hand.
  • He graduated from Salinas High School in 1919.
  • The famous writer never graduated from college.

Writing Years

  • In 1925, Steinbeck left California for New York to pursue a writing career, but returned home unsuccessful.
  • Steinbeck's 1935 novel, Tortilla Flats, won the California Commonwealth Club's Gold Medal award for best novel.
  • During the World War II, Steinbeck worked as a war correspondent for a New York newspaper.
  • Most of Steinbeck's novels center around Depression-era characters struggling for survival, respect and dignity.
  • Many of Steinbeck's novels feature themes of social protest, such as In Dubious Battle (1936) and The Moon Is Down (1942).
  • Seventeen of Stenbeck's works were turned into Hollywood films, often multiple times.
  • Steinbeck received an Academy Award nomination in 1944 for Lifeboat, an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
  • During his life, Steinbeck received some of the world's most prestigious awards: the Pulitzer Prize (Grapes of Wrath, 1940), the Nobel Prize for Literature (1962) and the United States Medal of Freedom (1964).

Personal Life

  • Steinbeck hated being famous and stayed out of the public eye as much as he could.
  • He married three times and had two children, both sons.
  • His best friend was marine biologist, Ed Ricketts, and they wrote a non-fiction book called The Sea of Cortez after a 6-week expedition to Mexico to study marine life.
  • John Steinbeck was actually John Ernst Steinbeck III; his son was also named John Ernst Steinbeck to carry on the family tradition.
Related Life123 Articles

John Steinbeck's awards and achievements highlight the career of one of America's greatest writers. Learn about the man who gave readers The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men and more.

The quotable John Steinbeck had interesting views on writing, politics and human nature. Gain insight into the mind that penned some of the most loved 20th century American literary works.

Frequently Asked Questions on Ask.com
More Related Life123 Articles

Find articles about John Steinbeck, including facts about John Steinbeck, John Steinbeck quotes and John Steinbeck awards.

Find articles about John Steinbeck, including facts about John Steinbeck, John Steinbeck quotes and John Steinbeck awards.

Find articles about John Steinbeck, including facts about John Steinbeck, John Steinbeck quotes and John Steinbeck awards.

© 2014 Life123, Inc. All rights reserved. An IAC Company