32 Facts About Sinclair Lewis


Harry Sinclair Lewis was an American writer and playwright.


Sinclair Lewis's works were critical of American capitalism and materialism during the interwar period.


Sinclair Lewis is respected for his strong characterizations of modern working women.


Sinclair Lewis's father, Edwin J Lewis, was a physician and a stern disciplinarian who had difficulty relating to his sensitive, unathletic third son.


In late 1902, Sinclair Lewis left home for a year at Oberlin Academy to qualify for acceptance at Yale University.


Sinclair Lewis entered Yale in 1903, but did not receive his bachelor's degree until 1908, taking time off to work at Helicon Home Colony, Upton Sinclair's cooperative-living colony in Englewood, New Jersey, and to travel to Panama.


Sinclair Lewis's undistinguished looks, country manners and seeming self-importance made it difficult for him to win and keep friends at Oberlin and Yale.


Sinclair Lewis did make a few friends among the students and professors, some of whom recognized his promise as a writer.


Sinclair Lewis came to the Carmel-by-the-Sea writers' colony in September 1908, to work for the MacGowan sisters and to meet poet George Sterling in person.


Sinclair Lewis stayed with roommate and friend, writer William Rose Benet at photographer Arnold Genthe's house that was close to the beach.


Sinclair Lewis came to San Francisco where Sterling helped him get a job at the San Francisco Evening Bulletin.


Sinclair Lewis earned money by selling plots to Jack London, including one for the latter's unfinished novel The Assassination Bureau, Ltd.


Sinclair Lewis's first published book was Hike and the Aeroplane, a Tom Swift-style potboiler that appeared in 1912 under the pseudonym Tom Graham.


Sinclair Lewis's agent had the most optimistic projection of sales at 25,000 copies.


Sinclair Lewis followed up this first great success with Babbitt, a novel that satirized the American commercial culture and boosterism.


The story was set in the fictional Midwestern town of Zenith, Winnemac, a setting to which Sinclair Lewis returned in future novels, including Arrowsmith, Gideon Planish and Dodsworth.


Sinclair Lewis continued his success in the 1920s with Arrowsmith, a novel about the challenges faced by an idealistic doctor.


Sinclair Lewis next published Dodsworth, a novel about the most affluent and successful members of American society.


Sinclair Lewis portrayed them as leading essentially pointless lives in spite of great wealth and advantages.


In 1930 Sinclair Lewis won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the first writer from the United States to receive the award, after he had been nominated by Henrik Schuck, member of the Swedish Academy.


In 1944, Sinclair Lewis campaigned to have Dreiser recognized by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


Sinclair Lewis immediately became enthralled with the university and the city and offered to remain and teach a course in creative writing in the upcoming semester.


In 1943, Sinclair Lewis went to Hollywood to work on a script with Dore Schary, who had just resigned as executive head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's low-budget film department to concentrate on writing and producing his own films.


Sinclair Lewis had been a frequent visitor to Williamstown, Massachusetts.


Sinclair Lewis's intended residence in Williamstown was short-lived because of his medical problems.


In 1914 Sinclair Lewis married Grace Livingston Hegger, an editor at Vogue magazine.


Sinclair Lewis died in Rome from advanced alcoholism, on January 10,1951, aged 65.


Sinclair Lewis's body was cremated and his remains were buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.


William Shirer, a friend and admirer of Sinclair Lewis, argued that Sinclair Lewis did not die from alcoholism.


Sinclair Lewis reported that Lewis had a heart attack and that his doctors advised him to stop drinking if he wanted to live.


Sinclair Lewis did not stop, and perhaps could not; he died when his heart stopped.


Sinclair Lewis has been honored by the US Postal Service with a postage stamp in the Great Americans series.