E. B. White
Elwyn Brooks "E. B." White (1899–1985) was an American author. His works include One Man's Meat (1942), Here is New York (1949), Charlotte's Web (1952), and The Elements of Style (co-authored with Will Strunk, 1959).
Life and works
White was born July 11, 1889 in Mount Vernon, New York. He served in the army before going to college. White graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1921. While at Cornell, he worked as editor of The Cornell Daily Sun. He then gave up a teaching position at the University of Minnesota in order to become a writer. He lived in New York during the 1920s and 1930s, and wrote for the New Yorker at the same time as Robert Benchley and Dorothy Parker, and published things like Is Sex Necessary? (1929), a satire of Freudian psychology.
Marrying, White moved to a farm in Maine, which is where he got the inspiration for such books as Stuart Little (1945). During the Second World War, the anthologies of his homely columns such as One Man's Meat were treasured among soldiers. White once saw a spiderweb in a family barn, removed the egg sacs, put them in a candy box, and took them to New York, where they hatched - this gave the idea for his most lauded story, Charlotte's Web, published in 1952.
In 1959, White edited and updated The Elements of Style, which is a handbook of grammatical and stylistic guidance for writers of American English had been written and published in 1918 by William Strunk, Jr., one of White's professors at Cornell. Later editions were published in 1972, 1979, and 1999. His other works include Points of My Compass (1962), The Trumpet of the Swan (1970), Letters of E.B. White (1976), and Poems and Sketches of E.B. White (1981). White died on October 1, 1985.
In Some Writer!, author Melissa Sweet writes a biography based on her research of his life, and she finds herself particularly inspired by his manual typewriter.
- The New York Public Library Student's Desk Reference. Prentice Hall, New York: 1991.
- "White, E.B." Encyclopedia Britannica Online.