Cantwell, Robert, 1908-1978

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Robert Emmett Cantwell, novelist, biographer, essayist, and editor, was born January 31, 1908 in Little Falls, now Vader, Washington, and died December 8, 1978, in New York. Cantwell attended the University of Washington from 1924-25. In 1929, after selling a short story to The American caravan, he moved to New York where he began work on his first novel, Laugh and lie down (1931). After finishing the novel, he continued his freelance writing and published articles in The new republic, The nation, and others. He wrote a second novel, The land of plenty (1934). Cantwell worked on the editorial staffs of Time and Fortune, then became associate editor of Time. From 1949 to 1954 he worked as the literary editor of Newsweek, and then freelanced again until 1956, when he began an association with Sports illustrated.

From the description of Robert Cantwell papers, 1926-1978. (University of Oregon Libraries). WorldCat record id: 52391247

Robert Emmett Cantwell, writer and editor, was born January 31, 1908 in Little Falls, now Vader, Washington, and died December 8, 1978, in New York. Cantwell attended the University of Washington from 1924-25. In 1929, he moved to New York where he began work on his first novel, Laugh and lie down (1931). After finishing, he continued his freelance writing and published in The new republic, The nation, and others. He wrote a second novel, The land of plenty (1934). Cantwell worked on the editorial.

Staffs of Time and Fortune, then became associate editor of Time. From 1949 to 1954 he worked as the literary editor of Newsweek, and then freelanced until 1956, when he began an association with Sports illustrated.

From the description of Robert Cantwell papers [microform], 1926-1978. (University of Oregon Libraries). WorldCat record id: 55141109

Robert Emmett Cantwell, novelist, biographer, essayist, and editor, was born January 31, 1908 in Little Falls, (now Vader) Washington, and died December 8, 1978, in New York, NY; son of Charles James (an engineer) and Nina Adelia (Hanson) Cantwell; married Mary Elizabeth Chambers (a teacher), February 2, 1931; children: Jean McNiece (Mrs. George Stolz, Jr.), Betsy Ann (Mrs. Walter Pusey III), Mary Elizabeth Emmett (Mrs. Lars-Erik Nelson).

After attending the University of Washington (1924-1925), he spent the next four years working at Harbor Plywood Co., (1925-1929) Hoquiam, Washington as a veneer clipper man. In 1929, after selling a short story to The American Caravan, he moved to New York where he began work on his first novel, Laugh and Lie Down (1931). After finishing the novel, Cantwell continued his freelance writing and published articles in The New Republic and The Nation, among others. During the period between 1930 and 1935 he wrote a second proletarian novel, The Land of Plenty (1934) and began work on a biography of Boston merchant E.A. Filene in collaboration with Lincoln Steffens, which was never completed.

In the next ten years, Cantwell worked on the editorial staffs of Time (1935-1936) and Fortune (1937), then became associate editor of Time (1938-1945). During the 1930’s he came to know a number of literary personalities that included John Dos Passos, James T. Farrell, Ernest Hemingway, Edmund Wilson, Malcolm Cowley, and Whittaker Chambers (who Cantwell eventually helped get a job at Time ). During Cantwell’s employment at Time, he also became well acquainted with Henry Luce. Cantwell spent the next three years researching and writing the biography, Nathaniel Hawthorne: The American Years (1948). From 1949 to 1954 he worked as the literary editor of Newsweek and then took up freelancing again until 1956 when he began an association with Sports Illustrated that lasted the rest of his life. He worked on scores of articles, three of which became books: Alexander Wilson: Naturalist and Pioneer (1961), The Real McCoy (1971), and The Hidden Northwest (1972). Subjects of his articles include chess, ornithology, sports in the movies and literary figures in sports.

From the guide to the Robert Cantwell papers, 1926-1978, (Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn New Yorker records, ca.1924-1984 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Robert Cantwell papers, 1926-1978 University of Oregon Libraries. Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Robert Cantwell papers, 1926-1978 University of Oregon Libraries. Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966. William Ernest Hocking Papers, 1860-1979 Houghton Library
creatorOf Cantwell, Robert, 1908-1978. Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, 1944-1957. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Zeligs, Meyer Aaron. Meyer Aaron Zeligs Papers. 1923-1978. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Gannett, Lewis, 1891-1966. Papers, 1681-1966 (bulk 1900-1960) Houghton Library
creatorOf Cantwell, Robert, 1908-1978. Robert Cantwell papers, 1926-1978. University of Oregon Libraries
referencedIn Lewis, Merrill. Merrill Lewis collection, 1963-1992. Western Washington University
creatorOf Cantwell, Robert, 1908-1978. Robert Cantwell papers, 1926-1978. University of Oregon Libraries
creatorOf Filene, E. A. (Edward Albert), 1860-1937. Edward A. Filene papers, 1888-1937 (bulk 1907-1937). Credit Union National Association
creatorOf McCullough, R. Nevan, 1904-1983. Papers, 1852-1982 Bulk 1903-1982. University of Oregon Libraries
creatorOf Adamic, Louis, 1899-1951,. Letters to Alfred Kreymborg [manuscript], 1921-1956. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Macy, George. George Macy papers, 1916-1970. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Cantwell, Robert, 1908-1978. Robert Cantwell papers [microform], 1926-1978. University of Oregon Libraries
referencedIn Granville Hicks Papers, 1906-1980 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn Yaddo records, 1870-1980 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Cantwell, Robert, 1908-1978. Robert Cantwell papers [microform], 1926-1978. University of Oregon Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Cantwell, Robert, 1908- person
associatedWith Chambers, Whittaker person
associatedWith Chambers, Whittaker. person
associatedWith Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970. person
associatedWith Farrell, James T. (James Thomas), 1904-1979. person
associatedWith Filene, E. A. (Edward Albert), 1860-1937. person
correspondedWith Gannett, Lewis, 1891-1966 person
associatedWith Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961. person
associatedWith Hicks, Granville, 1901-1982 person
correspondedWith Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966 person
associatedWith Lewis, Merrill. person
associatedWith Macy, George. person
associatedWith McCullough, R. Nevan, 1904-1983. person
associatedWith New Yorker Magazine, Inc corporateBody
associatedWith Yaddo (Artist's colony) corporateBody
correspondedWith Zeligs, Meyer Aaron, 1909-1978 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
Subject
Journalism
Literature
Maps
Periodical editors
Periodical editors
Photographs
Piano music
Piano music
Sound recordings
Authors, American
Arts and Humanities
Diaries
Occupation
Activity

Person

Birth 1908-01-31

Death 1978-12-08

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