Kantor, MacKinlay, 1904-1977

Alternative names
Birth 1904-02-04
Death 1977-10-11

Biographical notes:

Novelist from Iowa.

From the description of Letters, 1934-1973. (University of Iowa Libraries). WorldCat record id: 233121203

Kantor was born in Webster City, Iowa. His first of more than thirty novels, Diversey, was about Chicago gangsters. Many of the later novels were based on the Civil War, including Andersonville, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1956.

From the description of MacKinlay Kantor manuscripts, 1927-1932. (State Historical Society of Iowa, Library). WorldCat record id: 435842238


From the description of Papers of MacKinlay Kantor, 1950-1958. (University of Iowa Libraries). WorldCat record id: 233110550

From the description of Papers of MacKinlay Kantor, 1885-1977 (bulk 1920-1970). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71066291

Biographical Note

  • 1904, Feb. 4: Born, Webster City, Iowa
  • 1921 - 1924 : Reporter and assistant editor, Webster City Daily News, Webster City, Iowa
  • 1925: Moved to Chicago, Ill.; free-lance writer
  • 1926: Married Irene Layne (died 1982)
  • 1926 - 1927 : Reporter, Republican, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • 1928: Published first novel, Diversey (New York: Coward McCann. 345 pp.)
  • 1930: Published El Goes South (New York: Coward McCann. 297 pp.)
  • 1930 - 1931 : Columnist, Des Moines Tribune, Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1932: Published The Jaybird (New York: Coward McCann. 293 pp.)
  • 1934: Published Long Remember (New York: Coward McCann. 411 pp.) Screenwriter, Paramount Productions, Hollywood, Calif.
  • 1935: Published The Voice of Bugle Ann (New York: Coward McCann. 128 pp.) Published Turkey in the Straw: A Book of American Ballads and Primitive Verse (New York: Coward McCann. 90 pp.)
  • 1936: Published Arouse and Beware (New York: Coward McCann. 332 pp.) Screenwriter, Paramount Productions, Hollywood, Calif.
  • 1937: Published The Romance of Rosy Ridge (New York: Coward McCann. 96 pp.)
  • 1938: Published The Noise of Their Wings (New York: Coward McCann. 240 pp.) Published Here Lies Holly Springs (New York: Pynson Printers. 37 pp.)
  • 1939: Published The Valedictory (New York: Coward McCann. 92 pp.)
  • 1940: Published Cuba Libra: A Story (New York: Coward McCann. 136 pp.)
  • 1942: Published Gentle Annie: A Western Novel (New York: Coward McCann. 249 pp.) Published Angleworms on Toast (New York: Coward McCann. 29 pp.) Screenwriter, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Hollywood, Calif.
  • 1943: Published Happy Land (New York: Coward McCann. 92 pp.) Screenwriter, Twentieth Century Fox, Hollywood, Calif.
  • 1943 - 1945 : War correspondent for various magazines
  • 1944: Published Author's Choice (New York: Coward McCann. 497 pp.) Screenwriter, Samuel Goldwyn, Hollywood, Calif.
  • 1945: Special assignment with the air force to write official report on the air war in World War II Published Glory for Me, a novel in verse used for the Academy Award-winning motion picture film, Best Years of Our Lives (New York: Coward McCann. 268 pp.)
  • 1947: Published But Look, the Morn; The Story of A Childhood (New York: Coward McCann. 308 pp.)
  • 1948: Published Midnight Lace (New York: Random House. 309 pp.) Published Wicked Water: An American Primitive (New York: Random House. 216 pp.)
  • 1949: Published The Good Family (New York: Coward McCann. 150 pp.)
  • 1950: War correspondent in Korea, True Magazine, flying for a month on combat missions with the 325th Squadron, 92nd Bomb Group Published One Wild Oat (New York: Fawcett. 156 pp.) Published Signal Thirty-Two (New York: Random House. 370 pp.) Published Lee and Grant at Appomattox (New York: Random House. 175 pp.)
  • 1951: Published Don't Touch Me (New York: Random House. 243 pp.)
  • 1951 - 1953 : Consultant, United States Air Force, studying personnel, equipment, and training operations at Mediterranean bases
  • 1952: Published Warwhoop: Two Short Novels of the Frontier (New York: Random House. 246 pp.) Published Gettysburg (New York: Random House. 189 pp.)
  • 1953: Published The Daughter of Bugle Ann (New York: Random House. 122 pp.)
  • 1954: Published God and My Country (Cleveland, Ohio: World Publishing. 128 pp.)
  • 1955: Published Andersonville (Cleveland, Ohio: World Publishing. 767 pp.); received Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • 1957: Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom for services to the air force Published Lobo (Cleveland, Ohio: World Publishing. 110 pp.)
  • 1958: Published The Work of Saint Francis (Cleveland, Ohio: World Publishing. 107 pp.) Published Silent Grow the Guns and Other Tales of the American Civil War (New York: New American Library. 158 pp.)
  • 1959: Published short story collection, Frontier; Tales of the American Adventure (New York: New American Library. 160 pp.)
  • 1960: Published short story collection, It's About Crime (New York: New American Library. 157 pp.)
  • 1961: Published Spirit Lake (Cleveland, Ohio: World Publishing. 957 pp.) Published If The South Had Won the Civil War (New York: Bantam. 112 pp.)
  • 1963: Published The Gun-Toter and Other Stories of the Missouri Hills (New York: New American Library. 160 pp.)
  • 1965: Published, with Curtis E. LeMay, Mission with LeMay: My Story (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday. 581 pp.)
  • 1967: Published Story Teller (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday. 462 pp.)
  • 1968: Published Beauty Beast (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 382 pp.) Published The Day I Met A Lion (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday. 341 pp.)
  • 1969: Published Missouri Bittersweet (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday. 342 pp.)
  • 1970: Published, with Tim Kantor, Hamilton County (New York: Macmillan. 288 pp.)
  • 1972: Published I Love You, Irene (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday. 347 pp.)
  • 1973: Published The Children Sing (New York: Hawthorn. 213 pp.)
  • 1975: Published Valley Forge (New York: M. Evans and Lippincott. 339 pp.)
  • 1977, Oct. 11: Died, Sarasota, Fla.

From the guide to the MacKinlay Kantor Papers, 1885-1977, (bulk 1920-1970), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)


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  • American literature
  • Authors, American
  • Police
  • Historical fiction, American
  • American newspapers--Iowa
  • Police United States
  • American newspapers
  • Fiction


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  • Iowa (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Iowa (as recorded)
  • Iowa (as recorded)