Irwin Shaw - Illness, Timeline and Childhood

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Irwin Shaw's Personal Details

Irwin Shaw was an American author, novelist and playwright best remembered for his poignant and compelling style of writing

InformationDetail
BirthdayFebruary 27, 1913
Died onMay 16, 1984
NationalityAmerican
FamousIllness, Writers, Playwrights, Short Story Writers, Non-Fiction Writers
SpousesMarian Edwards
SiblingsDavid Shaw
Known asIrwin Gilbert Shamforoff
Childrens Adam Shaw
Universities
  • Brooklyn College
Birth PlaceThe Bronx
ReligionJudaism
GenderMale
FatherWill Shaw
MotherRose Shaw
Sun SignPisces
Born inThe Bronx
Famous asIllness
Died at Age71

// Famous Illness

Irwin Shaw's photo

Who is Irwin Shaw?

Irwin Gilbert Shamoroff, popularly known as Irwin Shaw, was an American author, novelist and playwright best remembered for his poignant and compelling style of writing. His short stories and novels are considered among the best in modern literature and have collectively sold more than 14 million copies worldwide. Some of his finest novels are ‘The Young Lions’, ‘The Troubled Air’, and ‘Rich Man, Poor Man’. Right from his childhood, he was ambitious and struggled hard to earn success. He began his writing career as a scriptwriter for radio serials. Gradually, he progressed to writing successful plays and gripping short stories. These stories were published in various magazines in the 1940s and established him as a master of short fiction. They were acclaimed for their plots, narration, and characterization. Eventually, he also began writing Hollywood scripts and novels. For him, writing was a passionate and personal activity, cut off from the external world. When he was not busy writing, he enjoyed playing tennis or travelling in his Hillman-Minx car. He was enthusiastic about life and had a quick natural wit. Even though most of his work was critically acclaimed, his literary reputation was weakened by the success of his commercial writing.

// Famous Non-Fiction Writers

Childhood & Early Life

Irwin Shaw was born on February 27, 1913, in South Bronx, New York City, to William Shamoroff, a Russian Jewish immigrant, and Rose Tompkins Shamoroff, an American-born Lithuanian Jewish immigrant. He had a younger brother, David Shaw, who became a famous Hollywood producer and writer.

The family moved to Brooklyn soon after his birth and by 1923 his father was a thriving real estate developer. However, the Great Depression gradually ruined his business and after 1932 he couldn’t sustain his family financially.

Growing up in Brooklyn, Shaw graduated from Brooklyn College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1934. While entering college, he changed his surname and worked in temporary positions to support his family.

Career

In 1935, Irwin Shaw began his career by writing dialogues for radio shows such as ‘Dick Tracy’, ‘The Gumps’ and ‘Studio One’. This helped him to hone his writing skill, as well as, support his family financially.

In 1936, he participated in a contest organised by the New Theatre League. Though he did not win, his one-act pacifist play ‘Bury the Dead’ appeared on Broadway and enjoyed an extended run in the theatres. It was an instant success and he became famous overnight. He went on to write other plays like ‘Siege’ (1937), ‘The Gentle People’ (1939) and ‘Quiet City’ (1939).

Next, he entered Hollywood and began writing scripts for films. In the 1940s, he wrote screenplays for films like ‘The Talk of the Town’ (1942), ‘The Commandos Strike at Dawn’ (1942), ‘Easy Living’ (1949), etc. The profitable income from these films helped him to finance his serious writings and afford a comfortable standard of living.

While working on film scripts, he began writing short stories. These appeared in prominent magazines like ‘The New Yorker’, ‘Esquire’, etc. and established him as a master of short narrative. The stories were acclaimed for their plots, narration, and characterization. Some of his collections of short stories published during this period are ‘Welcome to the City, and other Stories’ (1942), ‘Act of Faith, and other Stories’ (1946), etc.

He continued to write for the theatre and wrote plays such as ‘Retreat to Pleasure’ (1940), ‘Sons and Soldiers’ (1943), ‘The Assassin’ (1945) and ‘The Survivors’ (1948) all through the same period.

During World War II, he was recruited in the U.S. Army as a Warrant Officer. His first novel, ‘The Young Lions’ (1948), was based on his experiences in Europe during the war. The novel became a best-seller and was later adapted into a film in 1958.

On being accused of being a communist, he left the United States for Europe in 1951 and lived in Paris and Switzerland for 25 years. Thereafter, he dedicated most of his career to writing novels, short stories and occasionally film scripts.

He wrote twelve novels in total, including ‘The Troubled Air’ (1951), ‘Lucy Crown’ (1956), ‘Two Weeks in Another Town’ (1960), ‘Evening in Byzantium’ (1973), ‘Beggarman, Thief’ (1977), etc. His most popular novel, ‘Rich Man, Poor Man’ (1970) was adapted into a successful television miniseries later in 1976.

While in Europe, he wrote several screenplays, such as ‘Act of Love’ (1953), ‘Fire Down Below’ (1957), ‘Desire Under the Elms’ (1958), ‘In the French Style’ (1963), etc. Furthermore, he published his collections of short stories like ‘Tip on a Dead Jockey, and other stories’ (1957), ‘Love on a Dark Street, and other stories’ (1965), ‘Short Stories: Five Decades’ (1978), etc.

He tried his hand at non-fiction writing as well, for example, ‘Paris! Paris!’ (1976). His concluding works were novels ‘Bread upon the Waters’ (1981) and ‘Acceptable Losses’ (1982).

Major Works

His first one-act play ‘Bury the Dead’ (1935) made him an overnight success in America. The pacifist play highlighted the story of a group six dead soldiers killed in a war who refuse to be buried.

His experiences in Europe as part of the US army during World War II inspired his first novel ‘The Young Lions’ (1948). The story is about three young soldiers — a German and two Americans, during wartime.

His second novel, ‘The Troubled Air’ (1951) chronicled the rise of McCarthyism. Eventually, he was accused of being a communist and was placed on the Hollywood blacklist.

Awards & Achievements

For his brilliant writing career, Shaw won several awards such as two O. Henry Awards, a National Institute of Arts and Letters grant, and three Playboy Awards.

Personal Life & Legacy

Irwin Shaw married Marian Edwards, daughter of famous actor Snitz Edwards, on October 13, 1939. In 1950, their son Adam was born. Adam grew up to be a non-fiction and magazine-article writer.

Irwin Shaw died on May 16, 1984 in Davos, Switzerland, at the age of 71. He was suffering from prostate cancer.

Trivia

He recalled the early period of his career, writing scripts for radio serials in his short story ‘Main Currents of American Thought’. The story is about a radio scriptwriter who churns out scripts in succession, calculating the number of words required to be able to afford things that he needed.

// Famous Short Story Writers

Irwin Shaw biography timelines

  • // 27th Feb 1913
    Irwin Shaw was born on February 27, 1913, in South Bronx, New York City, to William Shamoroff, a Russian Jewish immigrant, and Rose Tompkins Shamoroff, an American-born Lithuanian Jewish immigrant. He had a younger brother, David Shaw, who became a famous Hollywood producer and writer.
  • // 1923 To 1932
    The family moved to Brooklyn soon after his birth and by 1923 his father was a thriving real estate developer. However, the Great Depression gradually ruined his business and after 1932 he couldn’t sustain his family financially.
  • // 1934
    Growing up in Brooklyn, Shaw graduated from Brooklyn College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1934. While entering college, he changed his surname and worked in temporary positions to support his family.
  • // 1935
    In 1935, Irwin Shaw began his career by writing dialogues for radio shows such as ‘Dick Tracy’, ‘The Gumps’ and ‘Studio One’. This helped him to hone his writing skill, as well as, support his family financially.
  • // 1935
    His first one-act play ‘Bury the Dead’ (1935) made him an overnight success in America. The pacifist play highlighted the story of a group six dead soldiers killed in a war who refuse to be buried.
  • // 1936
    In 1936, he participated in a contest organised by the New Theatre League. Though he did not win, his one-act pacifist play ‘Bury the Dead’ appeared on Broadway and enjoyed an extended run in the theatres. It was an instant success and he became famous overnight. He went on to write other plays like ‘Siege’ (1937), ‘The Gentle People’ (1939) and ‘Quiet City’ (1939).
  • // 13th Oct 1939 To 1950
    Irwin Shaw married Marian Edwards, daughter of famous actor Snitz Edwards, on October 13, 1939. In 1950, their son Adam was born. Adam grew up to be a non-fiction and magazine-article writer.
  • // 1942 To 1946
    While working on film scripts, he began writing short stories. These appeared in prominent magazines like ‘The New Yorker’, ‘Esquire’, etc. and established him as a master of short narrative. The stories were acclaimed for their plots, narration, and characterization. Some of his collections of short stories published during this period are ‘Welcome to the City, and other Stories’ (1942), ‘Act of Faith, and other Stories’ (1946), etc.
  • // 1948 To 1958
    During World War II, he was recruited in the U.S. Army as a Warrant Officer. His first novel, ‘The Young Lions’ (1948), was based on his experiences in Europe during the war. The novel became a best-seller and was later adapted into a film in 1958.
  • // 1948
    His experiences in Europe as part of the US army during World War II inspired his first novel ‘The Young Lions’ (1948). The story is about three young soldiers — a German and two Americans, during wartime.
  • // 1951
    On being accused of being a communist, he left the United States for Europe in 1951 and lived in Paris and Switzerland for 25 years. Thereafter, he dedicated most of his career to writing novels, short stories and occasionally film scripts.
  • // 1951
    His second novel, ‘The Troubled Air’ (1951) chronicled the rise of McCarthyism. Eventually, he was accused of being a communist and was placed on the Hollywood blacklist.
  • // 16th May 1984
    Irwin Shaw died on May 16, 1984 in Davos, Switzerland, at the age of 71. He was suffering from prostate cancer.

// Famous Playwrights

Irwin Shaw's FAQ

  • What is Irwin Shaw birthday?

    Irwin Shaw was born at 1913-02-27

  • When was Irwin Shaw died?

    Irwin Shaw was died at 1984-05-16

  • Where was Irwin Shaw died?

    Irwin Shaw was died in Davos

  • Which age was Irwin Shaw died?

    Irwin Shaw was died at age 71

  • Where is Irwin Shaw's birth place?

    Irwin Shaw was born in The Bronx

  • What is Irwin Shaw nationalities?

    Irwin Shaw's nationalities is American

  • Who is Irwin Shaw spouses?

    Irwin Shaw's spouses is Marian Edwards

  • Who is Irwin Shaw siblings?

    Irwin Shaw's siblings is David Shaw

  • Who is Irwin Shaw childrens?

    Irwin Shaw's childrens is Adam Shaw

  • What was Irwin Shaw universities?

    Irwin Shaw studied at Brooklyn College

  • What is Irwin Shaw's religion?

    Irwin Shaw's religion is Judaism

  • Who is Irwin Shaw's father?

    Irwin Shaw's father is Will Shaw

  • Who is Irwin Shaw's mother?

    Irwin Shaw's mother is Rose Shaw

  • What is Irwin Shaw's sun sign?

    Irwin Shaw is Pisces

  • How famous is Irwin Shaw?

    Irwin Shaw is famouse as Illness