Hersey, John, 1914-1993

Alternative names
Birth 1914-06-17
Death 1993-03-24

Biographical notes:

John Hersey was born in Tientsin, China, the son of YMCA missionaries. Following his graduation from Yale in 1936, he became a prominent American journalist and novelist.

From the description of John Hersey papers, ca. 1900-1985 (inclusive). (Yale University). WorldCat record id: 702160854

John Hersey was an author and journalist, best known for socially conscious novels such as A Bell for Adano and Hiroshima. Hersey was born in China to missionary parents, and graduated from Yale University. He became Sinclair Lewis's secretary for a year, and then worked as a journalist for Time, Life, and The New Yorker, closely covering World War II battles in Europe and Asia. He later taught at Yale. His fiction was popular and critically acclaimed, eloquent and compassionate, and often explored both social and ethical themes, focusing on the impact of significant events on everyday lives; he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1945 for A Bell for Adano.

From the description of John Hersey letter to Mrs. Rhodes, 1946 Dec. 14. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 130047517

John Hersey (1914-1993), author and educator.

From the description of Into the valley : a skirmish of the marines, 1943. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702194212

PT boats were used as swift attack craft during World War II, both in the Pacific and European theatres.

From the description of PT squadron in the South Pacific / by John Hersey. (Naval War College). WorldCat record id: 45739825


From the description of Reminiscences of John Hersey : oral history, 1976. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122574527

John Hersey was born on June 17, 1914 at Tientsin, China, where his parents were missionaries. His father, Roscoe M. Hersey, Sr. worked for the YMCA. John Hersey returned to America where he attended Hotchkiss and then Yale, graduating in 1936. He spent a year at Clare College, Cambridge, served as secretary to Sinclair Lewis briefly and joined Time in 1937. During the Second World War broke out he was sent to the Far East and travelled in China and Japan, before becoming a war correspondent with the Marines. He went on to write numerous novels on a variety of subject. Hersey died in 1993.

From the guide to the John Hersey Papers, 1900-1985, (Yale University Divinity School Library)


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Ark ID:


  • Young Men's Christian associations--China
  • Male authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
  • Torpedo-boats
  • Marines--Biography
  • World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns
  • Authors, American--20th century--Archives
  • Guadalcanal, Battle of, Solomon Islands, 1942-1943
  • Authors--Interviews
  • Authors, American
  • World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations
  • Young Men's Christian associations
  • World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American


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  • Solomon Islands (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Solomon Islands (as recorded)
  • China (as recorded)