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Eugene O'Neill

Playwright

Born: 16 October 1888
Died: 27 November 1953
Birthplace: New York, New York
Best known as:

The author of the play Long Day's Journey Into Night

Eugene Gladstone O'Neill was one of the most acclaimed playwrights of the 20th century. A four-time Pulitzer Prize winner, he is the only American dramatist to date to win the Nobel Prize for literature. Eugene O'Neill began writing plays after being hospitalized for tuberculosis in 1912. His mastery of the form and his experiments with technique and theme earned heaps of critical praise, and during his lifetime he was one of the world's most famous playwrights. But his plays, often prolonged and grim psychological dramas, were not financially successful, and O'Neill was sometimes accused of moral impurity for his mature approach to social and personal issues. O'Neill battled ill health and depression throughout his adult life, drank heavily at times, and in his later years suffered from an undiagnosed neurological disorder that made writing difficult. Three of his Pulitzers came in the 1920s: Beyond the Horizon (1920), Anna Christie (1922) and Strange Interlude (1928); his fourth was awarded posthumously in 1957, for his harrowing autobiographical masterpiece Long Day's Journey Into Night (written in 1941 but not produced until 1956). Eugene O'Neill's other plays include Mourning Becomes Electra (1931), Ah, Wilderness (1933), and The Iceman Cometh (1946).

Extra credit:

Eugene O'Neill's daughter, Oona (1926-1991), was married to Charlie Chaplin from 1943 until Chaplin's death in 1977.

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