James G. Thurber

From Ohio History Central
Thurber, James in Bermuda, 1937.jpg
James Thurber in Bermuda, 1937

James Thurber was a prominent twentieth-century American author, cartoonist and humorist.

Thurber was born in Columbus, Ohio, on December 8, 1894. As a child, Thurber suffered an injury that caused his eyesight to deteriorate and later caused him to become nearly blind.

In 1913, Thurber enrolled at The Ohio State University. He often criticized OSU for its support of football, but he was a life-long fan of Buckeye football. After leaving Ohio State without graduating, Thurber found employment with the United States State Department as a clerk during World War I. Following the war, Thurber returned to Ohio State, but once again, he failed to graduate. While a student, Thurber served as a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch and several other smaller newspapers. He later moved to France, where he served as a correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. In 1926, Thurber moved to New York City and became a reporter for the Evening Post. He left this position to accept a job with The New Yorker. Between 1927 and 1933, Thurber became well known for his funny short stories and his cartoons. Although Thurber left The New Yorker's employ in 1933, he continued to draw cartoons and write short stories for the magazine until failing eyesight caused him to retire in the 1950s.

Thurber wrote a number of books. Among his publications were Is Sex Necessary? (1929), The Owl in the Attic and Other Perplexities (1931), My Life and Hard Times (1933), The Middle-Aged Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935), Let Your Mind Alone! (1937), and Fables for Our Time (1940). Thurber also wrote several plays, including The Male Animal (1940), and some children's books, including The Thirteen Clocks (1950) and The Wonderful O (1957). In many of Thurber's writings, he often described the difficulties average people faced in coping with modern life.

James Thurber died on November 2, 1961.

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