Cozzens, James Gould, 1903-1978

Alternative names
Birth 1903-08-19
Death 1978-08-09

Biographical notes:

Confusion (Boston, 1924) was published while Cozzens was a sophomore at Harvard.

From the description of Materials concerning the publication of Confusion : manuscript, 1923-1925 and undated. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612858123

James Gould Cozzens is the author of novels, including Guard of honor (1948) and Morning noon and night (1968). He received the Pulitzer Prize in 1949.

From the description of Papers of James Gould Cozzens, 1967-1978. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 228675488

American author.

From the description of Galley proofs, 1924, 1964 [manuscript]. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647804630

From the description of Pencil used by Cozzens n.d. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647892959

American novelist.

From the description of Letter : Tuinucú, Cuba, to Hoyt, 1925 Nov. 15. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122547535


James Gould Cozzens was born in Chicago, Illinois, in August of 1903. He attended Harvard from 1922-1924, and married Bernice Baumgarten in December 1931. He is the author of several books and articles. His writing career began in college with the publication of Confustion. Between that time and 1949, he wrote nine other novels, many of which earned acclaim. He spent a year in Cuba's Santa Clara providence teaching in a sugar company school for the children of American engineers.

In the summer of 1926 he went to Europe and remained there for a year. In 1938 he was temporary guest editor of Fortune magazine. In 1943 he was elected to the roll of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

From the description of Papers, 1963. (Florida State University). WorldCat record id: 50673784


James G. Cozzens was an American novelist who published numerous works from the 1930s through 1970s. He died in 1978.

From the guide to the Children and others, : galley proofs, / James Gould Cozzens, 1964, (University of California, Irvine. Library. Special Collections and Archives.)

James Gould Cozzens (1903-1978), author of fourteen novels and numerous short stories, was born in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the Kent School, and after his graduation in 1922 he went on to Harvard University. While attending Harvard, he published his first novel, Confusion, in 1924. A few months later, he withdrew from Harvard for reasons of health and finances. He moved to New Brunswick, Canada, where he wrote his next novel, Michael Scarlett . Like Confusion, it was not well received. He relocated to Cuba, where he began to write short stories. His experiences there provided material for later stories and novels, but he resigned after only a brief period as he felt that his writing career was stagnating. Though he published two more novels, his career did not improve until 1927, when he married Sylvia Bernice Baumgarten, a literary agent who successfully guided his career for the rest of her life.

Cozzens published ten more novels and a volume of short stories entitled Children and Others . He was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and won many awards, including the O. Henry Award in 1931 for "A Farewell to Cuba" and again in 1936 for "Total Stranger," the Pulitzer Prize in 1949 for Guard of Honor, and the William Dean Howells medal in 1960 for By Love Possessed . However, none of his works achieved great success or popularity and Cozzens increasingly withdrew from society. As the years went on, he displayed a loss of appetite for living and an interest in suicide which pervaded his diaries. In 1978, he died in a hospital in Stuart, Florida, of cancer of the spine.

  • 1903: Born on August 19 in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1916: Entered the Kent School
  • 1922: Graduated from Kent School; entered Harvard University
  • 1924: Published Confusion; withdrew from Harvard University
  • 1925: Published Michael Scarlett
  • 1927: Married Sylvia Bernice Baumgarten
  • 1928: Published Cock Pit
  • 1929: Published Son of Perdition
  • 1931: Published S.S. San Pedro; received O. Henry Award for “A Farewell to Cuba”
  • 1933: Published The Last Adam
  • 1934: Published Castaway
  • 1936: Published Men and Brethren; received O. Henry Award for “Total Stranger”
  • 1940: Published Ask Me Tomorrow
  • 1942: Published The Just and the Unjust
  • 1948: Published Guard of Honor
  • 1949: Pulitzer Prize for Guard of Honor
  • 1957: Published By Love Possessed
  • 1960: William Dean Howells Medal for By Love Possessed
  • 1964: Published Children and Others, a volume of short stories
  • 1968: Published Morning Noon and Night
  • 1978: Died on August 9 in Stuart, Florida

From the guide to the James Gould Cozzens Papers, 1878-1978, 1878-1978, 1940s-1960s, (Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections)


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  • Mothers and sons--20th century
  • American fiction--20th century
  • American literature
  • Publishers and publishing--20th century
  • American fiction--20th century--Archival resources
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  • Authors and publishers--20th century
  • American literature--20th century
  • Authors--Correspondence
  • Mothers and sons--United States--20th century
  • Authors, American--20th century--Diaries


  • Novelists, American--20th century


  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)