Dobie, Charles Caldwell, 1881-1943

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Charles Caldwell Dobie was a native San Franciscan who gained prominence as a writer of short stories and novels. His works include Blood Red Dawn, Portrait of a Courtesan, and San Francisco: A Pageant.

From the description of Charles Caldwell Dobie papers, circa 1905-1943. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 84650833


Charles Caldwell Dobie was born in San Francisco March 15, 1881, and unlike many California writers who went East after their first success, he continued to live in his native city. He attended local schools and, because of the death of his father and the necessity of contributing to family support, he never went beyond grammar school in formal education. He went into insurance work, starting as an errand boy and eventually becoming office manager. When he was nineteen he joined a class in short story writing inaugurated by W. C. Morrow, the noted journalist and writer. Under his direction, Dobie learned the short story craft. Writing in his spare time, he worked for ten years without selling a line. In October 1910 his first story was published in the San Francisco Argonaut. In 1916 he resigned his insurance position to devote full time to writing. Thereafter he became a regular contributor to leading magazines, including Smart Set, Harper's, Scribner's and Pictorial Review. Many of his stories were selected for inclusion in "best short story" anthologies, notably the Edward J. O'Brien and O. Henry memorial collections. His first novel, The Blood Red Dawn, was published in 1920. Other novels include Broken to the Plow (ca. 1921), Less than Kin (1926) and Portrait of a Courtesan (1934). In addition, he wrote from time to time, a number of newspaper columns, the most famous of which was "The Caliph in San Francisco," appearing in the San Francisco Bulletin, 1925-1926. The books which permanently identified him in the public mind with San Francisco were San Francisco: A Pageant (1933) and San Francisco's Chinatown (1936). Dobie died in his home in San Francisco on January 11, 1943.

From the guide to the Charles Caldwell Dobie Papers, [circa 1905-1943], (The Bancroft Library.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Arliss, George, 1868-1946. person
associatedWith Atherton, Gertrude Franklin Horn, 1857-1948. person
associatedWith Cooksley, Sidney Bert, 1903- person
associatedWith Coolbrith, Ina D. (Ina Donna), 1842?-1928. person
associatedWith Cowan, Robert Ernest, 1862-1942. person
associatedWith Creel, George, 1876-1953. person
associatedWith Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976. person
associatedWith Feuchtwanger, Lion, 1884-1958. person
associatedWith Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964. person
associatedWith Hurst, Fannie, 1889-1968. person
associatedWith Jarvis, George, Mrs. person
associatedWith Lattimore, Owen, 1900-1989. person
associatedWith Lehman, B. H. (Benjamin Harrison), 1889-1977. person
associatedWith Leonard, Alexander Thomas, person
associatedWith Luke, Keye, 1904-1991. person
associatedWith Maugham, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965. person
associatedWith McWilliams, Carey, 1905- person
associatedWith Mencken, H. L. (Henry Louis), 1880-1956. person
associatedWith Mitchell, Ruth Comfort. person
correspondedWith Mitchell, Ruth Comfort. Correspondent person
associatedWith Norris, Kathleen Thompson, 1880-1966. person
associatedWith Older, Fremont, 1856-1935. person
associatedWith Online Archive of California. corporateBody
associatedWith Phelan, James D. (James Duval), 1861-1930. person
associatedWith Review of Reviews (New York, N. Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Sabin, Henry. person
associatedWith Wagner, Harr, 1857-1936. person
associatedWith Wells, H. G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946. person
associatedWith Zweig, Stefan, 1881-1942. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
San Francisco (Calif.)
California--San Francisco
Authors, American


Birth 1881

Death 1943



Ark ID: w6vd723j

SNAC ID: 26200731