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Eugene O'Neill: The Greatest American Dramatist

Eugene O'Neill, the greatest American dramatist was born on October 16 1888, in an up-town family hotel, named Barrett House on Broadway at 43, Street New York. His father James O'Neill was a popular American actor. His mother Ella Quinlan was a very charming lady. She was a fan of music. Eugene O'Neill used to accompany his father on his acting tours which developed a sense of insecurity in him. He got his early education from Catholic Boarding School. For six years, Eugene O'Neill studied at the Betts Academy from 1896 to 1902. From there, he went to Princeton. He took admission in the University but remained there only a year. Soon he turned to drama.

In 1909, Eugene O'Neill had a secret marriage with Kathleen Jenkins of New York. The girl's parents were not happy with this marriage, so the couple got divorced in 1912. Eugene's father sent him to Honduras, in Central America on gold-mining expedition. But he couldn't find any work there and returned in 1910.

Eugene was fond of girls and wine. Many a time, Eugene was charged with adultery. For a couple of months, Eugene worked as an assistant manager to his father's company during a tour from St. Louis to Boston. In December 1912, Eugene suffered from tuberculosis. He was discharged from the Gaylord Farm Sanatorium after a period of five months. Now Eugene was determined to be a serious dramatist. In 1914, O'Neill joined the G.P. Baker's Academy at Harvard. He learns a lot regarding the art of writing plays in this academy. In 1918, Eugene married Agnes Boulton and the couple lived at Peaked Hill.

Eugene O'Neill had to bear a lot of physical suffering during the last years of h life. He died on 27 November, 1953. He won fame and recognition as a leading American playwright. He was awarded with several prestigious awards and prizes. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1936. O'Neill is also the only playwright to win four Pulitzer Prizes (1920, 1922, 1928, 1957) for Drama.


Literary Works Year
Beyond the Horizon 1920
The Emperor Jones 1920
Anna Christie 1921
The Hairy Ape 1922
Desire Under the Elms 1924
Strange Interlude 1928
Mourning Becomes Electra 1931
Long Day's Journey into Night written in 1941, posthumously produced in 1956
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