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 Upton Sinclair

Upton Sinclair

Birth
Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland, USA
Death 25 Nov 1968 (aged 90)
Bound Brook, Somerset County, New Jersey, USA
Burial Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
Plot Section 17, Lot 45
Memorial ID 1657 · View Source
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Author. Born in Baltimore, Maryland. Sinclair was the son of Upton Beall Sinclair and his wife Patricia Harden. Sinclair came from a privileged background, but his father was an alcoholic and had difficulty paying the bills. Sinclair was quoted as saying that the family went from rags to riches many times over, and his fortunes would continue to rise and fall throughout his life time. He turned to books as a means of escape from his unpredictable life and by the age of 15 was writing dime novels. These novels, ethnic jokes, and other hackwork paid for his tuition at New York City College. He eventually enrolled in Columbia University. During his time at Columbia he produced stories for several boy’s weeklies. They were typically about characters in the Military and had locales such as West Point or Annapolis. Sinclair would maintain a high rate of productivity throughout his lifetime producing nearly 100 books. Upon completing school, Sinclair devoted himself entirely to writing. He also became interested in Socialism and much of his work would take on that bent. An early success was the book “Manassas” about a young soldier in the Union Army who fought in the famous battle. Sinclair had entertained the idea of making the book the first of a trilogy but became sidetracked by another project called “The Jungle.” Exposing the dark underbelly of the meatpacking industry, such an outcry for reform attended it that it ultimately led to the passage of the Meat Inspection Act in 1906. The book was also infamous for what were seen as racist comments. Sinclair would go on to write several more novels along the same political theme including “Mammonart,” “King Coal,” “The Metropolis,” “Oil!,” “Boston, ” and “Jimmie Higgins.” His interest in socialism led him to become more active in politics. In 1934, he ran for governor of the state of California. His platform EPIC (End Poverty in California) spilt the state down party lines. He ultimately lost to Frank F. Merriam, but the race would introduce several new and modern campaign techniques include the use of Motion Picture Propaganda. Along with this detour into politics, Sinclair became interested in psychic phenomenon producing the book “Mental Radio.” The books that possibly garnered Sinclair the most praise was the Lanny Budd Series, a group of 11 books which feature the title character making his way through most of the political history of the Western World through out the first half of the 20th century. The 3rd book of this series, “Dragon’s Teeth,” would become the 1943 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction. Sinclair spent most of his life in California and Arizona, but in the end he moved to Boundbrook, New Jersey where he died in 1968. Sinclair had one son with his first wife Meta Fuller. He was married three times.

Bio by: Catharine


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1657
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Upton Sinclair (20 Sep 1878–25 Nov 1968), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1657, citing Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .