Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg

Galesburg, Knox County, Illinois, USA
Death 22 Jul 1967 (aged 89)
Flat Rock, Henderson County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Galesburg, Knox County, Illinois, USA
Memorial ID 925 · View Source
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Author. Poet. Born in Galesburg, Illinois, the son of Swedish immigrants, he was the second of seven children and was called Charlie by his family. He quit school after graduating from the eighth grade in 1891. The next few years he worked a variety of jobs. He spent some time traveling as a hobo while honing his writing and political views. He volunteered for service in the Spanish-American War in 1898. When he returned home later that year, he entered Lombard College. His college years also helped shape his views. He was greatly influenced by his professor Phillip Green Wright, a talented scholar and political liberal. His first book of verse, "In Reckless Ecstasy", was printed on Wright's basement press in 1904. Wright printed two more volumes for Sandburg, "Incidentals" (1907) and "The Plaint of a Rose" (1908). In 1907 he worked as an organizer for the Wisconsin Social Democratic party, writing and distributing political pamphlets and literature. He married Lillian Steichen in 1908. From 1910 to 1912 he was secretary to the mayor of Milwaukee. He later moved to Chicago, where he continued his journalism career, becoming an editorial writer for the Chicago Daily News in 1917. It was during his years in the Chicago area and Milwaukee that Sandburg was a member of the Social Democratic Party and took a strong interest in the socialist community. His poetry first began to attract attention in Harriet Monroe's magazine "Poetry". He drew most of his inspiration from American history and was profoundly influenced by Walt Whitman. With the appearance of his "Chicago Poems" (1916), "Cornhuskers" (1918), "Smoke and Steel" (1920), and "Slabs of the Sunburnt West" (1922), his reputation was established. His "Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years", published in 1926, was his first financial success. Among his later works are, "Good Morning, America" (1928), "The People, Yes" (1936), and "Abraham Lincoln: The War Years", won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1940. In 1945 the Sandburg's moved to Flat Rock, North Carolina. His "Complete Poems" won him a second Pulitzer Prize in 1951. He published "Harvest Poems" (1960), and "Honey and Salt" (1963). Sandburg died at his North Carolina home. His ashes were returned, as he had requested, to his Galesburg birthplace. In the small Carl Sandburg Park behind the house, his ashes were placed beneath Remembrance Rock, a red granite boulder. Ten years later the ashes of his wife were also placed there.

Bio by: Jane Stacy Eubanks





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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 925
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Carl Sandburg (6 Jan 1878–22 Jul 1967), Find a Grave Memorial no. 925, citing Carl Sandburg Birthplace Grounds, Galesburg, Knox County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .