Malcolm Cowley

Malcolm Cowley

Birth
USA
Death 27 Mar 1989 (aged 90)
New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA
Burial Sherman, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
Memorial ID 19791988 · View Source
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Malcolm Cowley was born in Belsano, Cambria County, Pennsylvania, USA He grew up in Pittsburgh, where his father William was a homeopathic doctor. He graduated from Peabody High School He obtained a B.A. from Harvard University in 1920.

Malcolm Cowley became known an American novelist, poet, literary critic, and journalist. He had interrupted his undergraduate studies to join the American Field Service in France during World War I. From the Western Front he reported on the war for The Pittsburgh Gazette Upon his return to the USA, Cowley married the artist Peggy Baird; they were divorced in 1931. His second wife was Muriel Maurer.

As part of the great migration of creative genius that congregated in the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris, Cowley returned to live in France for three years, working with Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others. For this reason, he is often referred to as being part of the Lost Generation. His most famous work is his autobiographical Exile's Return, published in 1934 and chronicling the general movement by the Lost Generation out of the United States.

Cowley served as assistant editor of 'The New Republic'; he became to be considered a radical Marxist and began writing about politics. Because of this style of literary life, Cowley came under scrutiny by J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI.

He eventually served as an editor for the Viking Press, he pushed for the publication of Jack Kerouac's 'On the Road'. In 1946 Cowley's introduction to Viking's 'The Portable Faulkner' is generally considered a turning point in Faulkner's reputation in the United States; Cowley's introduction to Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, written in the early 1960s, is said to have had a similar effect on Anderson's reputation.
Malcolm and Muriel Cowley spent the last several decades of their lives residing in the small town of Sherman, CT. He was instrumental in establishing and writing the town's zoning laws at a time when zoning was not a popular notion but he was able to convince the town's people that the benefits of zoning outweighed the negatives of rampant commercial and residential growth with no planned structure.
He was also very active in preserving the rural character of the town by helping secure many properties as 'open space' for the townspeople. Malcolm Cowley also founded the town's biweekly paper, 'The Sherman Sentinel'.
Malcolm Cowley died of a heart attack at the New Milford Hospital; he left behind his wife Muriel and a son Robert of New York, four grandchildren and two great grand children. He was buried in the Sherman North Cemetery.


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  • Created by: Michael Ryley Bradbury
  • Added: 9 Jun 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 19791988
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Malcolm Cowley (28 Aug 1898–27 Mar 1989), Find a Grave Memorial no. 19791988, citing North Cemetery, Sherman, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Michael Ryley Bradbury (contributor 46850737) .