Stephen Vincent Benet

Stephen Vincent Benet

Fountain Hill, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 13 Mar 1943 (aged 44)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Stonington, New London County, Connecticut, USA
Memorial ID 3073 · View Source
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Author. Poet. Born in Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania, the son of Colonel J. Walker Benét and Frances Neill Rose, his family had a long military tradition. At ten, Benét attended the Hitchcock Military Academy, but was eventually rejected by the army due to poor vision. During WWI he worked in Washington, D.C. as a cipher clerk. After receiving a Masters degree from Yale in 1920, he continued his studies at Sorbonne in France, where he met writer Rosemary Carr who would become his wife. He returned to the United States in 1923 where a volume of his poetry, ‘A Ballad of William Sycamore' was published. His famous narrative poem of the Civil War, ‘John Brown's Body' was published in 1928 and earned a Pulitzer Prize. Benét was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1929. In the 1930s Benét worked occasionally in Hollywood as a screenwriter. His poem, 'American Names', appeared first in ‘Ballads and Poems' in 1931. Horror, mystery, the fantastic and science fiction became his later interests. A short story collection, ‘Thirteen O'clock' published in 1937, included the one of his most famous stories, ‘The Devil and Daniel Webster'. The story was later made into a play, an opera, and a film, the title becoming ‘All That Money Can.' ‘By the Waters of Babylon', was published that same year, while ‘Tales Before Midnight' followed two years later. By 1940, Benét was a strong advocate of America's entry into WWII. In a United Nations Day speech, President F.D. Roosevelt read a prayer composed by Benét. Benét succumbed to a heart attack in New York City three years later. He was posthumously awarded the 1944 Pulitzer Prize for his last collection of poems, ‘Western Star'. His final collection of short stories, ‘The Last Circle,' was published posthumously in 1946. Benét's short story, ‘The Sobbin Women,' was the basis for the 1954 musical ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.'

Bio by: Iola

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 12 Jun 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial 3073
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Stephen Vincent Benet (22 Jul 1898–13 Mar 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 3073, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Stonington, New London County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .