Joseph Quincy Mitchell

Joseph Quincy Mitchell

Birth
Fairmont, Robeson County, North Carolina, USA
Death
24 May 1996 (aged 87)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial
Fairmont, Robeson County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID
111443900 View Source

Writer. He is best known for numerous, New Yorker magazine profiles, and the book, "Joe Gould's Secret."(1965) The book was made into the 2000 film with Stanley Tucci and Ian Holm. He was born on his maternal grandparents' farm near Iona, North Carolina, and grew up in nearby Fairmont. He studied at the University of North Carolina from 1925 to 1929, and wrote for the Chapel Hill Weekly and Daily Tar Heel. In the summer of 1929, he read James Bryce's "American Commonwealth," and decided to be a political reporter. He wrote an article about tobacco in Robeson county, and sent it to The New York Herald Tribune. They published it, called him to New York, and offered him a job. For the next nine years, he worked as a reporter and feature writer for The Morning World, The Herald Tribune, and The World-Telegram. At The World-Telegram, he interviewed Albert Einstein, Bing Crosby, Gene Krupa, Jimmy Durante, Fats Waller, George M. Cohan and George Bernard Shaw. A selection of his feature stories appeared in his first book,"My Ears are Bent"(1938). He covered the waterfront, the Fulton Fish Market, Long Island clammers, and Staten Island oystermen. He respected people on the fringes, and wrote about street preachers, Bowery bums, bartenders, prodigies, and unsung angels of mercy. In 1938, he was hired at The New Yorker magazine, and remained there till his death in 1996. Selections of his New Yorker profiles were published in his books: "McSorley's Wonderful Saloon"(1943); "Old Mr. Flood"(1948); "The Bottom of the Harbor"(1960); and "Joe Gould's Secret"(1965). He also wrote fictional pieces about North Carolina: "The Downfall of Fascism in Black Ankle County"(1939); "Uncle Dockery and the Independent Bull"(1939); and "I Blame it All on Mama"(1940). He never published again after 1964, and refused to allow his five books to be reprinted for decades. He remained active with many historic, preservation organizations in New York City. He was inducted into the Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1970. In 1992, he allowed four of his books to be reprinted in a large collection entitled,"Up in the Old Hotel." The book made the New York Times bestseller list. His earliest book, "My Ears are Bent"(1938) was also reprinted. A portion of Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 is inscribed on his grave marker.

Writer. He is best known for numerous, New Yorker magazine profiles, and the book, "Joe Gould's Secret."(1965) The book was made into the 2000 film with Stanley Tucci and Ian Holm. He was born on his maternal grandparents' farm near Iona, North Carolina, and grew up in nearby Fairmont. He studied at the University of North Carolina from 1925 to 1929, and wrote for the Chapel Hill Weekly and Daily Tar Heel. In the summer of 1929, he read James Bryce's "American Commonwealth," and decided to be a political reporter. He wrote an article about tobacco in Robeson county, and sent it to The New York Herald Tribune. They published it, called him to New York, and offered him a job. For the next nine years, he worked as a reporter and feature writer for The Morning World, The Herald Tribune, and The World-Telegram. At The World-Telegram, he interviewed Albert Einstein, Bing Crosby, Gene Krupa, Jimmy Durante, Fats Waller, George M. Cohan and George Bernard Shaw. A selection of his feature stories appeared in his first book,"My Ears are Bent"(1938). He covered the waterfront, the Fulton Fish Market, Long Island clammers, and Staten Island oystermen. He respected people on the fringes, and wrote about street preachers, Bowery bums, bartenders, prodigies, and unsung angels of mercy. In 1938, he was hired at The New Yorker magazine, and remained there till his death in 1996. Selections of his New Yorker profiles were published in his books: "McSorley's Wonderful Saloon"(1943); "Old Mr. Flood"(1948); "The Bottom of the Harbor"(1960); and "Joe Gould's Secret"(1965). He also wrote fictional pieces about North Carolina: "The Downfall of Fascism in Black Ankle County"(1939); "Uncle Dockery and the Independent Bull"(1939); and "I Blame it All on Mama"(1940). He never published again after 1964, and refused to allow his five books to be reprinted for decades. He remained active with many historic, preservation organizations in New York City. He was inducted into the Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1970. In 1992, he allowed four of his books to be reprinted in a large collection entitled,"Up in the Old Hotel." The book made the New York Times bestseller list. His earliest book, "My Ears are Bent"(1938) was also reprinted. A portion of Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 is inscribed on his grave marker.


Inscription

JOSEPH QUINCY MITCHELL
BORN NEAR FAIRMONT ON HIS MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER'S FARM
JULY 27, 1908
DIED IN NEW YORK CITY
HIS HOME FOR SIXTY-SIX YEARS
MAY 24, 1996
BELOVED SON OF AVERETTE NANCE MITCHELL AND ELIZABETH AMANDA PARKER MITCHELL
BELOVED HUSBAND FOR FORTY-NINE YEARS OF THERESE DAGNY ENGLESTED JACOBSEN MITCHELL
BELOVED FATHER OF NORA THERESE DAGNY MITCHELL SANDBORN AND ELIZABETH KRISTIN MITCHELL CURTIS
BARE RUINED CHOIRS WHERE LATE THE SWEET BIRDS SANG.