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James Thurber With Peggy Cass, left, and Joan Anderson, 1960.


Thurber, James (08 December 1894–02 November 1961), writer and cartoonist, was born James Grover Thurber in Columbus, Ohio, the son of Charles Leander Thurber, a political clerk, and Mary Agnes Fisher. In 1901 the Thurbers moved to Falls Church, Virginia, near Washington, where Thurber’s father had a job as secretary for a congressman. The next year, Thurber was blinded in his left eye by an arrow in a game of William Tell with his two brothers. That year, Thurber’s father lost his job when his employer was not renominated, and the family returned to Columbus. Thurber attended local schools and was elected president of his senior class at East High, from which he graduated with honors in 1913. He enrolled at Ohio State University but dropped out in his sophomore year “just to read.” He returned in 1915, became an editor of the college daily newspaper and editor in chief of the humor monthly magazine, acted for the drama club, and formed a close friendship with classmate ...