Stone, Irving, 1903-1989

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1903-07-14
Death 1989-08-26
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Epithet: born Irving Tannenbaum, writer

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001039.0x0003bb

Irving Stone was born Irving Tannenbaum in San Francisco, California, changing his name to Stone after his mother remarried. He attended the University of California at Berkeley, supporting himself by playing the saxophone, and graduated with degrees in political science and economics. He lectured, working on a Ph. D., but moved to Paris to write plays, which were unsuccessful. While in Paris he encountered the works of Vincent Van Gogh, and meticulously researched the painter's life, leading to the popular fictional biography, Lust for Life. Stone continued to write nonfiction, but specialized in biographical novels, preferring the wider audience fiction allowed. He wrote accounts of Charles Darwin, Clarence Darrow, Michelangelo, Sigmund Freud, and many others, popular novels distinguished by careful research, idealized portrayals, and historical detail.

From the description of Irving Stone letter to Joseph Servello, 1963 May 28. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 70901290

Irving Stone was an author known for his biographical novels. Lona Mosk was Stone's first wife from around 1922 to 1933. Irving Stone married Jean Factor in 1934.

From the description of Irving Stone letters : to Sylvia and Samuel Ladar, circa 1930-1989 (bulk 1931-1936). (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 82899632

Irving Stone was an American author known for his biographical novels.

From the description of Irving Stone papers : additions, 1934-1943. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 469236060

American author.

From the description of Papers of Irving Stone [manuscript], 1938-1962. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647814428

Author.

From the description of Reminiscences of Irving Stone : oral history, 1966. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122308380

Irving Stone (born Irving Tennenbaum) was an American author born in San Francisco, CA on 1903 July 14. Stone was known for writing biographical novels depicting the lives of famous historical personalities such as Vincent Van Gogh (Lust for Life). Stone received his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1923 and a Master's Degree in Economics from University of Southern California in 1924.

Stone began his writing career in 1926 as a playwright and supported himself by submitting stories to pulp magazines. In 1928, Stone began to write his first biographical novel, Lust for Life, based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh. The novel was published in 1934 and immediately became a bestseller. He would go on the publish works based on the lives of other famous historical figures such as Michelangelo (The Agony and the Ecstasy), Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln (Love is Eternal), Charles Darwin (The Origin), and Sigmund Freud (Passions of the Mind).

Stone's biographical novels have the reputation of being thoroughly researched and based primarily upon source materials such as journals and collections of letters written by the subjects. Stone died in 1989 at the age of 86 in Los Angeles.

From the description of Irving Stone papers, 1945-1985. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 713801591

Biographical Chronology

  • 1903: Irving Stone born to Charles and Pauline Rosenberg Tennebaum on July 14 in San Francisco (Calif.).
  • 1907: Learns to read.
  • 1910: Mother divorces father
  • 1912: Begins to write.
  • 1916 - 1918 : Attends Lowell High School (San Francisco, Calif.).
  • 1918: Mother marries second husband; Stone takes his surname. Family moves to Los Angeles (Calif.). Stone enrolls at Manual Arts High School.
  • 1920: Attends second semester at University of Southern California.
  • 1920 - 1923 : Attends University of California, Berkeley. Earns Bachelors of Arts in Economics.
  • 1923 - 1924 : Serves as Teaching Fellow in economics at University of Southern California. Earns Masters in Economics.
  • 1924 - 1926 : Instructor of Economics at University of California, Berkeley. Attends University of California, Berkeley as a doctoral student of Economics.
  • 1925: Mother dies.
  • 1926: Wins Little Theatre Prize Play Contest at University of California, Berkeley. Begins career as author. Moves to New York (N.Y.).
  • 1926 - 1930 : Writes numerous plays, primarily one acts. Supports self by writing pulp fiction for magazines.
  • 1927 - 1928 : Travels through Europe; sees exhibition of Vincent Van Gogh's work.
  • 1928: The Dark Mirror produced by the Lenox Hill Players. Begins to write Lust for Life
  • 1933: Publishes Pageant of Youth (Alfred H. King, Inc.).
  • 1934: Marries Jean Factor (b. 1916 or 1917). Publishes Lust for Life (Longmans, Green, and Co.) after being refused by seventeen publishers in three years.
  • 1936: Truly Valiant produced on Broadway; the play closes after one performance. Returns to Berkeley (Calif.) to research Jack London.
  • 1937: Returns to Southern California. Publishes Dear Theo (Houghton Mifflin). Daughter Paula born.
  • 1938: Publishes Sailor on Horseback (Houghton Mifflin Company).
  • 1939: Moves to Encino (Calif.). Publishes False Witness (Doubleday and Co., inc.), his last novel. Continues to use Doubleday and Co., inc. for the rest of his publishing career.
  • 1941: Publishes Clarence Darrow for the Defense.
  • 1943: Publishes They Also Ran. Begins work with the Research Institute of America.
  • 1944: Publishes Immortal Wife. Son Kenneth born[?].
  • 1945: Moves to Beverly Hills (Calif.). Purchases first pre-Columbian works of art.
  • 1947 - 1954 : Publishes Adversary in the House (1947), Earl Warren: A Great American Story (1948), The Passionate Journey (1949), The President's Lady (1951), and Love is Eternal (1954).
  • 1955: Founds and serves as president of the Fellows for Schweitzer.
  • 1956: Publishes Men to Match My Mountains. Sells house in Beverly Hills (Calif.). Moves to Italy to begin research for The Agony and the Ecstasy. Remains in Italy for several years.
  • 1958: Tours Greece and Turkey for the United States State Department. Returns to Beverly Hills.
  • 1960 - 1961 : Serves as president of the California Writers Guild.
  • 1961: Publishes The Agony and the Ecstasy. Moves into final home in Beverly Hills.
  • 1962: Tours Europe and the Eastern bloc for United States State Department.
  • 1964 - 1965 : Becomes president of the Beverly Hills Improvement Association, created to stop the planned Beverly Hills Freeway.
  • 1965: Publishes Those Who Love. Receives Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Southern California. Teaches English course at the University of Southern California.
  • 1967: Founding member of the California State Colleges Committee for the Arts.
  • 1968: Receives Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of California, Berkeley. Founds the Irving and Jean Stone Award for best biographical and historical novel.
  • 1971: Publishes The Passions of the Mind after two decades of preparation.
  • 1975: Publishes The Greek Treasure. California Museum of Science and Technology celebrates Stone's seventy-fifth birthday with testimonial dinner and the exhibition California's Irving Stone.
  • 1980: Publishes The Origin.
  • 1985: Publishes Depths of Glory. Serves as Regents Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Guest workshop lecturer at Sonoma State University in the English Department.
  • 1989: Performs last public appearance in June. Dies in August, leaving final work on John Muir unfinished.

From the guide to the Irving Stone papers, 1923-1990s, (bulk 1934-1989), (The Bancroft Library.)

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Irving Stone (born Irving Tennenbaum) was an American author born in San Francisco, CA on 1903 July 14. Stone was known for writing biographical novels depicting the lives of famous historical personalities.

Stone received his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1923 and a Master's Degree in Economics from University of Southern California in 1924.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Stone began his writing career in 1926 as a playwright and supported himself by submitting stories to pulp magazines. In 1928, Stone began to write his first biographical novel, Lust for Life, based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh. The novel was published in 1934 and immediately became a bestseller. He would go on the publish works based on the lives of other famous historical figures such as Michelangelo (The Agony and the Ecstasy), Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln (Love is Eternal), Charles Darwin (The Origin), and Sigmund Freud (Passions of the Mind).

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Stone's biographical novels have the reputation of being thoroughly researched and based primarily upon source materials such as journals and collections of letters written by the subjects.

Stone died in 1989 at the age of 86 in Los Angeles.

From the guide to the Irving Stone Papers, 1945-1985, (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

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Subjects:

  • Literary criticism
  • Literary agents
  • Authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
  • Authors and publishers
  • Authors, American--20th century
  • Tournament of Roses, Pasadena, Calif
  • Male authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
  • Biographical fiction
  • Manuscripts--Exhibitions
  • Authors--Interviews

Occupations:

  • Collector

Places:

  • Pasadena (Calif.) (as recorded)