James Thurber - Author, Family and Childhood

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James Thurber's Personal Details

James Thurber was an American author, journalist and cartoonist, famously known for his short stories and cartoons in ‘The New Yorker’ magazine

InformationDetail
BirthdayDecember 8, 1894
Died onNovember 2, 1961
NationalityAmerican
FamousAuthor, Journalists, Playwrights, Ohio State University, Media Personalities, Journalists, Cartoonists
SpousesAlthea Adams, Helen Muriel Wismer
SiblingsRobert, William
Known asJames Grover Thurber
Childrens Rosemary Thurber
Universities
  • Ohio State University
  • East High School
  • Columbus
  • OH
  • Ohio State University
Notable Alumnis
  • Ohio State University
Birth PlaceColumbus
GenderMale
FatherCharles L. Thurber
MotherMary Agnes
Sun SignSagittarius
Born inColumbus
Famous asCartoonist, Author, Journalist & Playwright
Died at Age66

// Famous Journalists

James Thurber's photo

Who is James Thurber?

James Grover Thurber was a well-known American writer, journalist and cartoonist who became famous for his short stories which are full of imagination and enchantment and witty illustrations. His writing posses a humorous quality to it, conveyed with simplicity and sharpness, which made him very famous in the literary circuit. Thurber developed his creative writing skills when he was a young boy. Due to an accident he lost one of his eyes and that made it impossible for him to take part in any physical activity. This proved as a boon for his writing career and his talent for it came out in its full vigor when he joined The New Yorker magazine in the capacity of an editor, on the recommendation of his friend and fellow contributor, E.E. White. White was the one who recognized his talent for drawing and published some of his illustrations in the magazine, which of course was well acknowledged by the readers. Thurber has written tons of short stories, biographical memories, fables, etc. in his lifetime, which is apart from his work published in The New Yorker.

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Childhood & Early Life

James Thurber was born in Ohio to Charles L. Thurber and Mary Agnes Thurber. His father was a small time clerk and a minor politician. His mother was a homemaker and she was the one who instilled humor in Thurber.

As a little boy, Thurber lost an eye while playing with his brother, which made it difficult for him to take part in the sports activity at school but this only helped him to put all of his energy into creative endeavors.

In 1913, he joined the Ohio State University but he could never graduate because of poor eyesight. He left the university and started working as a code clerk first in Washington and then in France.

Career

After returning from France, Thurber started his journalistic career as a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch from 1921-24. He used to write reviews on latest books, movies, plays, etc. for the column, ‘Credos and Curios’.

In 1925, he moved to New York and became a reporter for the ‘New York Evening Post’. And then a few years later, he joined ‘The New Yorker’ as an editor with the help of his friend, E.B. White.

His stint in The New Yorker as a cartoonist began in 1930, when White found some of Thurber’s drawings in trash and took them out and got them published. White altered some of these drawings to make them publication worthy.

His writing career, as an author, started in 1930s and continued for three decades, in which he wrote many short stories, fictional memoirs , fables as many as seventy five, prose type humorous essays, a biographical memoir, etc.

Some of the example of his fictional work are: ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1939)’, ‘Further Fables of Our Time (1956)’, ‘The White Deer (1945)’, ‘The Wonderful O (1957)’, ‘The years with Ross (1958)’, etc.

Major Works

The major work of Thurber’s life is considered to be his enigmatic short stories and witty cartoons in ‘The New Yorker’. In his position as an editor from 1927- 1950s, Thurber grew as a cartoonist and author of independent books.

Personal Life & Legacy

Thurber was married to Althea Adams from 1922-1935; his marriage with her was known to be troubled and an imminent divorce was expected. The couple used to live in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and had a daughter Rosemary.

He married for the second time in 1935 to Helen Wismer.

Thurber died at the age of 66 in 1961 due to pneumonia, which caused a stroke.

Trivia

At the time of his death, Thurber’s last words were “God bless…. God damn”.

There is an award named after him - Thurber Prize, an award for outstanding examples of American humor.

He drew six covers and many illustrations for The New Yorker.

Neurologist V.S. Ramachandran has suggested that Thurber's creativity may be due to ‘Charles Bonnet syndrome’, which is a neurological condition that causes multifaceted visual hallucinations in a mentally healthy person’s mind, who has suffered some level of visual loss.

Apart from writing various hilarious and children’s stories, Thurber has also written some very dark stuff like, ‘The Whip-Poor Will’, which is a tale of madness and murder.

His short story ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ was adapted into a movie.

Two of his former houses, his childhood Thurber House in Ohio, and the Sanford-Curtis-Thurber House in Connecticut, are on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

// Famous Author

James Thurber biography timelines

  • // 8th Dec 1894
    James Thurber was born in Ohio to Charles L. Thurber and Mary Agnes Thurber. His father was a small time clerk and a minor politician. His mother was a homemaker and she was the one who instilled humor in Thurber.
  • // 1913
    In 1913, he joined the Ohio State University but he could never graduate because of poor eyesight. He left the university and started working as a code clerk first in Washington and then in France.
  • // 1921 To 1924
    After returning from France, Thurber started his journalistic career as a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch from 1921-24. He used to write reviews on latest books, movies, plays, etc. for the column, ‘Credos and Curios’.
  • // 1922 To 1935
    Thurber was married to Althea Adams from 1922-1935; his marriage with her was known to be troubled and an imminent divorce was expected. The couple used to live in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and had a daughter Rosemary.
  • // 1925
    In 1925, he moved to New York and became a reporter for the ‘New York Evening Post’. And then a few years later, he joined ‘The New Yorker’ as an editor with the help of his friend, E.B. White.
  • // 1930
    His stint in The New Yorker as a cartoonist began in 1930, when White found some of Thurber’s drawings in trash and took them out and got them published. White altered some of these drawings to make them publication worthy.
  • // 1930
    His writing career, as an author, started in 1930s and continued for three decades, in which he wrote many short stories, fictional memoirs , fables as many as seventy five, prose type humorous essays, a biographical memoir, etc.
  • // 1935
    He married for the second time in 1935 to Helen Wismer.
  • // 1939 To 1958
    Some of the example of his fictional work are: ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1939)’, ‘Further Fables of Our Time (1956)’, ‘The White Deer (1945)’, ‘The Wonderful O (1957)’, ‘The years with Ross (1958)’, etc.
  • // 1950
    The major work of Thurber’s life is considered to be his enigmatic short stories and witty cartoons in ‘The New Yorker’. In his position as an editor from 1927- 1950s, Thurber grew as a cartoonist and author of independent books.
  • // 2nd Nov 1961
    Thurber died at the age of 66 in 1961 due to pneumonia, which caused a stroke.

// Famous Cartoonists

James Thurber's FAQ

  • What is James Thurber birthday?

    James Thurber was born at 1894-12-08

  • When was James Thurber died?

    James Thurber was died at 1961-11-02

  • Where was James Thurber died?

    James Thurber was died in New York City

  • Which age was James Thurber died?

    James Thurber was died at age 66

  • Where is James Thurber's birth place?

    James Thurber was born in Columbus

  • What is James Thurber nationalities?

    James Thurber's nationalities is American

  • Who is James Thurber spouses?

    James Thurber's spouses is Althea Adams, Helen Muriel Wismer

  • Who is James Thurber siblings?

    James Thurber's siblings is Robert, William

  • Who is James Thurber childrens?

    James Thurber's childrens is Rosemary Thurber

  • What was James Thurber universities?

    James Thurber studied at Ohio State University, East High School, Columbus, OH, Ohio State University

  • What was James Thurber notable alumnis?

    James Thurber's notable alumnis is Ohio State University

  • Who is James Thurber's father?

    James Thurber's father is Charles L. Thurber

  • Who is James Thurber's mother?

    James Thurber's mother is Mary Agnes

  • What is James Thurber's sun sign?

    James Thurber is Sagittarius

  • How famous is James Thurber?

    James Thurber is famouse as Cartoonist, Author, Journalist & Playwright