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James Grover Thurber (1894-1961)

James Grover Thurber


One of the foremost and most celebrated American humourists of the twentieth century, James Thurber rose to prominence as a writer and cartoonist in the early years of The New Yorker. The simple line of his cartoons, often portraying a wife’s frustration with their meek husband, became an iconic feature of The New Yorker, and with the humour and wit of his writings in stories such as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Dog That Bit People, James Thurber developed into a distinguished author, playwright and one of the greatest of the modern American storytellers.

James Grover Thurber was born on 8 December 1894 in Columbus, Ohio, to Charles Leander Thurber and Mary Agnes (neé Fisher). He was the middle child with an older brother, William, and a younger brother, Robert. During Thurber’s childhood, the family was forced to move often on account of his father’s frequent job changes as a civil clerk. When James Thurber was seven years old, the family was living near Washington D.C.

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