Guest, Edgar A. (Edgar Albert), 1881-1959

Alternative names
Birth 1881-08-20
Death 1959-08-05

Biographical notes:

Guest was born Aug. 20, 1881 in Eng., the son of Edwin and Julia Guest. He graduated from Central High School in Detroit (Mich.) in 1897. He started writing when age 14. Guest worked as a newspaper man for the Detroit Free Press, 1895-1959. He did radio presentations and his verse was syndicated across the country. Guest married and had two children. He was frequently referred to as "The Poet of the Plain People". Guest died in 1959. (Information from Michigan Authors, pp. 146-147.) The Clarke Historical Library also has over 30 of his published works.

From the description of Papers, 1909, 1956. (Clarke Historical Library). WorldCat record id: 44175920

Special writer for the Detroit Free Press, poet, and lyricist.

From the description of Edgar A. Guest papers, 1898-1950. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 85778446

From the description of Edgar A. Guest papers, 1908-1931 and undated. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34423413

Wrote daily rhymes for Detroit Free Press. Born in England, immigrated in 1891.

From the description of Letter : Detroit, Mich., to Robley Durham Stevens, Baltimore, Md., 1936 April 13. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 32483640

English author.

From the description of Letter, 1943. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122486866


From the description of Letter of Edgar A. Guest, 1922. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79452059

Born in Birmingham, Eng. Aug. 20, 1881, came to Detroit with his family when nine years old. In 1895 started work with Detroit Free Press and began publishing poems three years later. First commercially published book of poems in 1916 A Heap O' Livin sold half million copies. In 1906 married Ellen Crossman who died in 1945. Had two children Edgar A. Jr. (Bud) and Janet. Died in Detroit Aug. 5. 1959. (from B.H.C. Biog. file) (blue index cards)

From the description of Edgar A. Guest papers, 1909-1958. (Detroit Public Library). WorldCat record id: 664724181

Edgar A. Guest was born August 20, 1881 in Birmingham, England. He immigrated with his family to the United States in the early 1890s, settling in Detroit. In 1895 he came to work for the Detroit Free Press as an office boy. He later moved to the news department as a cub reporter. One temporary assignment had Guest clipping filler items (such as poetry) for reprinting. On his own, he began writing similar kinds of verse and offering them to the newspaper for publication. The newspaper soon gave Guest his own column which he filled with sentimental poetry and observations on daily life. His poetry appealed to Detroits's and then with republication, to the nation's common folk. Guest wrote about family, home, patriotism, and the pleasures of everyday life. Collections of his verse became enormous best selling books with titles such as A heap o' livin' ; Just folks ; When day is done ; and Over here (written during World War I.). During the 1930s, Guest was host of two different radio programs where he read his poetry and offered his own observations on the times.

Guest was employed by the Detroit Free Press for over sixty-five years. He died August 5, 1959.

From the guide to the Edgar A. Guest Papers, 1898-1950, (Bentley Historical Library University of Michigan)


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  • Music
  • Authors, American--Michigan--Detroit
  • Music--Michigan--Detroit
  • Authors, American
  • Newspapers
  • American poetry--20th century
  • Poetry
  • Detroit free press
  • Michigan authors--Poetry
  • Authors, English--20th century--Correspondence
  • Poets, American
  • Poets
  • Authors
  • Poets--Michigan--Detroit
  • Poetry--20th century
  • Freemasonry


  • Poets


  • Michigan--Detroit (as recorded)
  • Michigan (as recorded)
  • Michigan--Detroit (as recorded)