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Auslander, Joseph (11 October 1897–22 June 1965), poet, editor, and translator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Louis Auslander and Martha Asyueck. He attended Columbia University from 1914 to 1915, then transferred to Harvard, receiving his B.A. in 1917. In 1919 he became an instructor in English at Harvard. He pursued graduate studies there until 1924, with the interruption of one year (1921–1922) at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he went on a Parker Traveling Fellowship. His poetry began to appear in national magazines in 1919, and his first volume, ...

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Brownson, Henry Francis (07 August 1835–19 December 1913), editor and publisher, was born in Canton, Massachusetts, the son of Orestes Augustus Brownson, a philosopher and publisher, and Sarah Healy. Handicapped somewhat in youth by poor health, Brownson nonetheless excelled in school. He attended Holy Cross College from 1844 until 1848, when he was thirteen. On 18 November 1844, a month after his father’s conditional baptism into the church, he was baptized into the Roman Catholic church. He was joined at the college chapel font by his brother William Brownson; by ...

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Burnett, Whit (14 August 1899–22 April 1973), anthologist, editor, and short story writer, was born Whitney Ewing Burnett in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of Benjamin James Burnett, a contractor, and Anna Marian Christensen. He began his career in 1916 working as a reporter for a newspaper in Salt Lake City. His other early positions included reporter for the ...

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Clarke, Mary Bayard Devereux (13 May 1827–30 March 1886), poet and editor, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the daughter of Thomas Pollock Devereux—Yale graduate, lawyer, and owner of several large plantations—and Catherine Anne Johnson, great-granddaughter of Samuel Johnson (1696–1772), first president of King’s College (now Columbia University) in New York. Among her other ancestors were five colonial governors. Her brother, John, was educated at Yale; and after her mother’s death in 1836, Mary and her sisters were taught at home by an English governess who closely followed the Yale course of study....

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Conroy, Jack (05 December 1898–28 February 1990), author and editor, was born John Wesley Conroy in Monkey Nest, a coal-mining camp near Moberly, Missouri, the son of Thomas E. Conroy, a coal miner and union organizer, and Eliza Jane McCollough McKiernan. Conroy’s father was killed in a mine explosion in 1909. Two years later his mother married an unreliable alcoholic; Conroy left school at the age of thirteen to work in a Wabash Railroad car shop in Moberly. He joined two railroad workers’ unions and became an officer in one. In his free time he read voraciously, developed a prodigious memory, attended church and rowdy gatherings alike, and enjoyed listening to old timers’ yarns. When the United States entered World War I, Conroy, though an anticapitalist pacifist, sought to enlist but was rejected because of a heart murmur....

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Dannay, Frederic (20 October 1905–03 September 1982), writer and editor of mystery and detective novels and short stories, was born Daniel Nathan in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Meyer H. Nathan, a liquor dealer, and Dora Walerstein. After graduating from Boys’ High School, Brooklyn, Dannay worked primarily as an advertising copywriter until he became a full-time fiction writer in 1931. He married three times: in 1926 to Mary Beck, with whom he had two children; in 1947 to Hilda Wiesenthal, with whom he had one child before her death in 1972; and in 1976 to Rose Koppel....

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Foley, Martha (21 March 1897–05 September 1977), editor and writer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Irish-American parents, Walter Foley, a physician, and Millicent McCarty, a schoolteacher who had also written a novel and a book of verse. When both of her parents fell ill, Foley was sent with her half-brother to stay with a family who, she later wrote, “either did not like or did not understand children.” It was a harsh and brutal period in her life, mitigated only, she recalled, by the fact that her parents’ library went with her. “Those books became home to me,” she wrote, “the only home I was to know for a long time.”...

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Griswold, Rufus Wilmot (13 February 1815–27 August 1857), editor and anthologist, was born on a farm in Benson, Vermont, the son of Rufus Griswold, a tanner and farmer, and Deborah Wass. Griswold’s early career consisted of a series of editorial and printing jobs for small-town papers in Vermont and New York. When ...

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Hall, James (29 July 1793–05 July 1868), writer and editor, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Hall, the secretary of the Pennsylvania land office and a U.S. marshal, and Sarah Ewing ( Sarah Ewing Hall). He was educated at home until entering an academy in Lamberton, New Jersey, in 1805. He studied law with his uncle Samuel Ewing. In March 1813 Hall volunteered for the Washington Guard, was transferred to the Ordnance Department, was promoted to first lieutenant, and chose his duty to be at the Pittsburgh arsenal, where he could also continue his law study with ...

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Sargent, Epes (27 September 1813–30 December 1880), author and editor, was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the son of Epes Sargent, a shipmaster, and Hannah Dane Coffin. In 1818 the family moved to Boston, where the father became a merchant before returning to the sea. Young Sargent attended the Boston Latin School from 1823 until 1829, during which time he interrupted his studies to accompany his father on a voyage to St. Petersburg, Russia. It is said, but evidently cannot be confirmed, that Sargent then briefly enrolled at Harvard....