Vonnegut, Kurt

Alternative names
Birth 1922-11-11
Death 2007-04-11

Biographical notes:


From the description of Papers, 1965-2002. (Indiana University). WorldCat record id: 259277264

From the description of Papers, 1941-2007. (Indiana University). WorldCat record id: 41182258

Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. His writings include articles, short stories and scripts, but he is most well-known for his novels from his first, Player Piano in 1952, through Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five, to his last Timequake in 1997. Nanny Vonnegut has been a featured artist at several galleries including the Ferrin Gallery in Pittsfield, MA and William Baczek Fine Arts in Northhampton, MA. She is married to artist Scott Prior.

From the guide to the Vonnegut mss. II, 1965-2002, (Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington) http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly)

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (b. 1922) was born in Indianapolis. He attended Shortridge High School where he gained notoriety for his work on the school's newspaper, The Echo. He attended Cornell University but left to enlist in the army during World War II and served in the 106th Infantry Division. He was taken prisoner during the Battle of the Bulge on 19 December 1944 and was in Dresden during the firebombing of February 1945. His experiences there became the basis of his novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. After the war he attended the University of Chicago then worked for General Electric in Schenectady, New York in the late 1940s. He left GE in 1950 to write full time and sold his first short story to Collier's Magazine that same year.

From the description of Kurt Vonnegut collection, 1945-2011. (Indiana Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122269298

Kurt Vonnegut was one of the most influential and widely-read authors of the second half of the 20th century. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, he was educated at Cornell University and, after joining the army, at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He served in the infantry in World War II, and was a prisoner of war during the firebombing of Dresden. After the war, he taught at various institutions, and wrote several novels and short stories, achieving serious attention for Cat's Cradle. His rise from cult popularity to mainstream success exemplified a shift in taste in the 1960s, culminating in his 1969 novel, Slaughterhouse-five, a genre-bending work written with an innovative style that became enormously popular and influential. Vonnegut's signature style wove together black comedy, pulp science fiction, irreverence, and populist philosophy into a surreal yet hopeful vision of humanity; it held true for numerous novels and short stories, and helped make him a popular speaker. He also wrote plays and non-fiction.

From the description of Kurt Vonnegut letter and program, 1967-1986. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 320713540

American author.

From the description of Correspondence and manuscript, 1970. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122494188


From the description of Kurt Vonnegut letter to Dr. C. Judson Kilgore, 1976 May 12. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 123412655

Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis on November 11, 1922. He attended Shortridge High School in Indianapolis, where he wrote for the Shortridge High School Echo, one of the few daily high school newspapers in the country. At the urging of his father, Vonnegut attended Cornell University to study chemistry and biology. While at Cornell, Vonnegut worked for the Cornell Daily Sun, even writing his own column. However, before he could complete his degree, he enlisted in the Army. Vonnegut had seven children in all, three from his first marriage to Jane Cox, his three nephews, and a daughter he adopted with his second wife, Jill Krementz. Vonnegut lived in New York with Jill until his death on April 11, 2007.

His first published work was a piece of short fiction "Report on the Barnhouse Effect" which appeared in Collier's, Feb. 1950. Over the years his short stories and articles have appeared in many magazines, but he is best known for his novels, the first of which, Player Piano, was published in 1952. Vonnegut has also written for both the stage and screen, and many of his works have been adapted to film, television and theater.

From the guide to the Vonnegut mss., 1941-2007, (Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington) http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly)


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Ark ID:


  • Battle of the Bulge
  • World War, 1939-1945--Prisoners and prisons, German
  • Political fiction
  • Ex-convicts--Fiction
  • Censorship
  • American literature--20th century
  • Authors, American--Correspondence
  • Novelists, American--20th century
  • Artists--Correspondence
  • Bombing, Aerial
  • World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives
  • Soldiers
  • Watergate Affair, 1972-1974--Fiction
  • Male authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
  • Prisoners of war


not available for this record


  • United States (as recorded)
  • Indiana (as recorded)
  • Germany (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)