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 Eugene Gladstone O'Neill

Eugene Gladstone O'Neill

Birth
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 27 Nov 1953 (aged 65)
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Jamaica Plain, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Plot Section 8
Memorial ID 768 · View Source
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Playwright, Nobel Laureate in Literature. His plays were among the first to include speeches in the American vernacular and involve characters on the fringes of society, struggling to maintain their hopes and aspirations only to slip into disillusionment and despair. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1936 and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1920, 1922, 1928, and 1957. He was born in a hotel room in New York City, New York. His father was an Irish immigrant actor and he was sent to a Catholic boarding school where he became interested in reading as a means to escape his loneliness. After high school, he attended Princeton University but left after only one year. He then spent several years at sea, during which he suffered from depression and bouts with alcoholism. He contracted tuberculosis and in 1912 he was sent to a sanatorium for treatment. After his treatment was completed in 1913, he devoted himself to writing plays. His first published play, "Beyond the Horizon" opened on Broadway in 1920 to great acclaim and was awarded the Pulitzer prize for Drama. His first major hit was "The Emperor Jones" which also ran on Broadway in 1920. His best-known plays include "Anna Christie" (Pulitzer Prize 1922), "Desire Under the Elms" (1924), "Strange Interlude" (Pulitzer Prize 1928), "Mourning Becomes Electra" (1931), his only well-known comedy "Ah, Wilderness" (1933), "The Iceman Cometh' (1940, first performed in 1946), Long Day's Journey Into Night" (written 1941, published 1956, Pulitzer Prize 1957). He was married three times and had strained relationships with his children. He disowned his daughter, Oona, in 1943 for marrying the English actor, director, and producer Charlie Chaplain when she was 18 and he was 54. His son, Eugene Jr, was an alcoholic and committed suicide in 1950, and he disowned his other son, Shane, who became addicted to heroin and eventually committed suicide in 1977. Over the course of his life, he wrote 20 one-act plays, 32 full-length plays some of which were published posthumously. During the last 10 years of his life, he suffered from a severe Parkinsons-like tremor in his hands (later diagnosed as a late-onset cerebellar cortical atrophy), which made it impossible for him to write. He died in Boston, Massachusetts, at a Sheraton Hotel. His last words were reported to have been: "I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room and died in a hotel room." His long-time companion dog Blemie is buried at Tao House in Danville, California.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 768
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Eugene Gladstone O'Neill (16 Oct 1888–27 Nov 1953), Find A Grave Memorial no. 768, citing Forest Hills Cemetery and Crematory, Jamaica Plain, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .