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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trivia (14)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Austin, Texas, USA  (kidney failure)
Birth NameJames Albert Michener

Mini Bio (1)

James A. Michener was born on February 3, 1907 in New York City, New York, USA as James Albert Michener. He is known for his work on Sayonara (1957), Adventures in Paradise (1959) and Return to Paradise (1953). He was married to Mari Michener, Vange Nord and Patti Koon. He died on October 16, 1997 in Austin, Texas, USA.

Spouse (3)

Mari Michener (23 October 1955 - 25 September 1994) ( her death)
Vange Nord (1948 - 1955) ( divorced)
Patti Koon (1935 - 1948) ( divorced)

Trivia (14)

Won Pulitzer Prize for first novel "Tales from the South Pacific" which was the basis of the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical South Pacific (1958).
His popular 1971 novel The Drifters was never made into a movie, but the movie rights for the book were among the highest ever paid up to that time.
In 1956, he wrote a pilot about a sailboat plying the South Seas, called "James Michener Presents a South Pacific Adventure," which starred Lyle Bettger. The pilot wasn't picked up by any of the networks, but three years later the concept was reworked and became Adventures in Paradise (1959) starring Gardner McKay and ran from 1959-1962.
He had no children. "Not by design, but because that's the way it worked out."
Biography in: "American National Biography". Supplement 1, pp. 410-412. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
He was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington, DC.
Pictured on a 59¢ USA definitive postage stamp in the Distinguished Americans series, issued 12 May 2008.
He knows nothing about his birth parents.
He was raised with other abandoned children by a poor Quaker widow named Mabel Michener.
Abandoned as an infant in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
He ran as a Democratic candidate for Congress in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 1962. Although his campaign was well-fought, he was defeated by his Republican opponent.
He left his entire estate, including the copyrights to his works, to Swarthmore College.
The Library of the University of Northern Colorado, in Greeley, Colorado, his alma mater, is named the James Michener Library in his honor.
He had survived three near-fatal plane crashes.

Personal Quotes (1)

"I think it's remarkable that a man could write the kind of thing I do
  • lengthy, intricate, not dependent on sex or violence - and acquire
the readership I have." (1980)

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