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 Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Famous memorial

Birth
Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA
Death
11 Apr 2007 (aged 84)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial
Burial Details Unknown
Memorial ID
18882600 View Source

Author. He is remembered as a 20th century American author, who wrote satirical novels using postmodern techniques, fantasy, horror, and science fiction, which were often written in past tense to prove his point of view. He had a dark imagination. Born the youngest of three children of Edith Lieber and Kurt Vonnegut, Sr., an architect, who was often unemployed during the Great Depression. His great grandfather, Clemens Vonnegut, was a German emigrant, who became a successful businessman as well as an author. Alcoholism was part of both his parents lives, and in 1944, his mother committed suicide. He attended Shortridge High School, where he wrote and edited the school paper. He then attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York studying biochemistry, but leaving to enlist in the Army in 1943 during World War II. The Army sent him to the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the University of Tennessee to study mechanical engineering. In 1944 serving with the 106th Infantry Division, he was sent to Europe seeing combat during the Battle of the Bulge. After being captured by Nazi Forces, he was sent to a prisoner of war camp near Dresden, Germany. He was among the surviving POWs of the February of 1945 Allied Forces fire-bombing of that city. During the bombing, he found shelter in a meat locker of a slaughterhouse. Vonnegut's job for weeks after the bombing was to collect and burn the remains of the dead. The camp was liberated after the Soviets entered the city that spring, and he was repatriated in May of 1945. He was awarded a Purple Heart. Settling in Illinois, he accepted a post with the "Chicago News Bureau" as a police reporter while he took classes at the University of Chicago. In 1947, he moved to Schenectady, New York where he became a publicist for General Electric. In early 1950 his short story, "Report on the Barnhouse Effect," appeared in "Collier's" magazine. More of his fiction appeared in magazines like "Argosy" and "The Saturday Evening Post." Within a year he left General Electric, and moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In 1951, his first novel, "Player Piano," was published. This followed in 1959 with "The Sirens of Titan," a science-fiction novel, and in 1961 he published "Mother Night." Listed as his second-most popular writing and nominated for a Hugo Award, "Cat's Cradle," which was based on the life of Nobel Prize recipient Irving Langmuir, was published in 1963. In 1969 "Slaughterhouse-Five" was published, which used as its base, his experiences during World War II, and followed a satiric nonlinear narrative. This anti-war writing was undoubtedly the novel that made his reputation with the sixteen-week stay on the "New York Times Best Sellers List," reaching #4 on the list. It was made into a feature film in 1972. "Breakfast of Champions" in 1973 followed, and also achieved best seller status despite being widely panned by critics. With a decline in popularity, he spoke of retiring, and struggled with depression, attempted suicide in 1984. He has also published an autobiography entitled "Palm Sunday" in 1981. Eventually with a comeback, he wrote several more novels; "Galápagos" in 1985, "Bluebeard" in 1987, "Hocus Pocus" in 1990 and "Timequake" in 1997, which would be his last work of fiction. His final work, however, was a collection of biographical essays, "A Man Without a Country," published in 2005. At age 84, he fell at home, sustaining severe head injuries. Hospitalized, he died several weeks later, leaving a legacy of fourteen novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five non-fiction works. He married twice and had four children and adopted his sister's three young children after her death. A compilation of his previously unpublished pieces, "Armageddon in Retrospect," was published by his son, Mark Vonnegut in 2008.

Author. He is remembered as a 20th century American author, who wrote satirical novels using postmodern techniques, fantasy, horror, and science fiction, which were often written in past tense to prove his point of view. He had a dark imagination. Born the youngest of three children of Edith Lieber and Kurt Vonnegut, Sr., an architect, who was often unemployed during the Great Depression. His great grandfather, Clemens Vonnegut, was a German emigrant, who became a successful businessman as well as an author. Alcoholism was part of both his parents lives, and in 1944, his mother committed suicide. He attended Shortridge High School, where he wrote and edited the school paper. He then attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York studying biochemistry, but leaving to enlist in the Army in 1943 during World War II. The Army sent him to the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the University of Tennessee to study mechanical engineering. In 1944 serving with the 106th Infantry Division, he was sent to Europe seeing combat during the Battle of the Bulge. After being captured by Nazi Forces, he was sent to a prisoner of war camp near Dresden, Germany. He was among the surviving POWs of the February of 1945 Allied Forces fire-bombing of that city. During the bombing, he found shelter in a meat locker of a slaughterhouse. Vonnegut's job for weeks after the bombing was to collect and burn the remains of the dead. The camp was liberated after the Soviets entered the city that spring, and he was repatriated in May of 1945. He was awarded a Purple Heart. Settling in Illinois, he accepted a post with the "Chicago News Bureau" as a police reporter while he took classes at the University of Chicago. In 1947, he moved to Schenectady, New York where he became a publicist for General Electric. In early 1950 his short story, "Report on the Barnhouse Effect," appeared in "Collier's" magazine. More of his fiction appeared in magazines like "Argosy" and "The Saturday Evening Post." Within a year he left General Electric, and moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In 1951, his first novel, "Player Piano," was published. This followed in 1959 with "The Sirens of Titan," a science-fiction novel, and in 1961 he published "Mother Night." Listed as his second-most popular writing and nominated for a Hugo Award, "Cat's Cradle," which was based on the life of Nobel Prize recipient Irving Langmuir, was published in 1963. In 1969 "Slaughterhouse-Five" was published, which used as its base, his experiences during World War II, and followed a satiric nonlinear narrative. This anti-war writing was undoubtedly the novel that made his reputation with the sixteen-week stay on the "New York Times Best Sellers List," reaching #4 on the list. It was made into a feature film in 1972. "Breakfast of Champions" in 1973 followed, and also achieved best seller status despite being widely panned by critics. With a decline in popularity, he spoke of retiring, and struggled with depression, attempted suicide in 1984. He has also published an autobiography entitled "Palm Sunday" in 1981. Eventually with a comeback, he wrote several more novels; "Galápagos" in 1985, "Bluebeard" in 1987, "Hocus Pocus" in 1990 and "Timequake" in 1997, which would be his last work of fiction. His final work, however, was a collection of biographical essays, "A Man Without a Country," published in 2005. At age 84, he fell at home, sustaining severe head injuries. Hospitalized, he died several weeks later, leaving a legacy of fourteen novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five non-fiction works. He married twice and had four children and adopted his sister's three young children after her death. A compilation of his previously unpublished pieces, "Armageddon in Retrospect," was published by his son, Mark Vonnegut in 2008.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Jim Tipton
  • Added: 11 Apr 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 18882600
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/18882600/kurt-vonnegut: accessed ), memorial page for Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (11 Nov 1922–11 Apr 2007), Find a Grave Memorial ID 18882600, ; Maintained by Find a GraveBurial Details Unknown.