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Thornton Wilder
Birth: Apr. 17, 1897
Madison
Dane County
Wisconsin, USA
Death: Dec. 7, 1975
Hamden
New Haven County
Connecticut, USA

Playwright, Novelist. Born Thornton Niven Wilder in Madison, Wisconsin, he was the son of U.S. consul general Amos Parker Wilder and his wife Isabella Niven. He was one of a set of twins the other having died at birth. He spent his childhood in China where his father served in the diplomatic corp, before going to school in California as a teenager. Wilder received a Bachelor's degree from Yale and, after a stint as a teacher at the prestigious Lawrenceville School, a graduate degree from Princeton. Wilder came from a family of gifted intellectuals and knew from an early age that he wanted to be a writer. His first professional work, "The Trumpet Shall Sound," was produced by the Laboratory Theatre in New York in 1926. His first novel, "The Cabala" was published the same year. His second novel, "The Bridge of San Luis Rey," published the following year was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. In order to support himself in his chosen profession during the 1930's he took a job as a lecturer at the University of Chicago as well as attempted to be a screenwriter in Hollywood. His biggest success during that period came with the production of "Our Town" (1938) which was also awarded the Pulitzer. In 1942 he won that award again with the premiere of "The Skin of our Teeth." Wilder would go on through the years to enjoy huge success also being responsible for such plays as "The Matchmaker" (1955) which was the basis for the hit musical "Hello Dolly," "The Alcestiad" (1955), and "Childhood" (1960). His other books included "The Eighth Day" (1967) and "Theophilus North" (1973). Wilder would be honored with several awards throughout his distinguished career including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. During World War II, he enlisted in the army and became a decorated Lt. Colonel in the Air Force working in Military Intelligence in North Africa and Italy. Wilder had an active social life counting among his many friends Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather and Montgomery Clift. Of all his family members, he was closest to his sister Isabel, who for several decades managed his business affairs and worked as his secretary. The two ended up living together in the family home after the death of his parents. He died in Hamden, Connecticut. (bio by: Catharine) 

Cause of death: Heart attack
 
Burial:
Mount Carmel Cemetery
Hamden
New Haven County
Connecticut, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 1103
Thornton Wilder
Added by: Anthony B
 
Thornton Wilder
Added by: David Noetzel
 
Thornton Wilder
Added by: David Noetzel
 
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-Anonymous
 Added: May. 24, 2014

- R I P
 Added: Apr. 17, 2014

- AJT
 Added: Apr. 17, 2014
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