Stephen Vincent Benét was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1898. His grandfather and namesake, Brigadier General Stephen Vincent Benét, was a chief of artillery in the U.S. Army. His father, James Walker Benét, was also an Army officer and an avid reader as well. Young Stephen grew up with a love of literature that eventually led him to a career as a writer. His first volume of poetry, "Five Men and Pompey," was published in 1917, two years before his graduation from Yale University. His third published collection of verse served as his graduate thesis.
In 1921, Benét published his first novel, "The Beginning of Wisdom." Shortly thereafter, he moved to France to pursue his studies at the Sorbonne, returning to the United States in 1923 with his new wife, the writer Rosemary Carr.
The Benéts returned to France in 1926, where Benét began work on a lengthy poem about the War Between the States that would ultimately win for him the 1929 Nobel Prize for Literature, "John Brown's Body."
Benét went on to write plays, short stories (the best known of which is "The Devil and Daniel Webster"), and novels, served as a radio broadcaster, and worked as a screenwriter for the film industry. He vigorously supported America's entry into World War II on the side of the Allies but died in New York City on March 13, 1943, before he could see the triumphant conclusion of that conflict.
"Army of Northern Virginia" || "Robert E. Lee" || "The Congressmen Came Out To See Bull Run"
This page is http://civilwarpoetry.org/authors/benet.html
Last modified 16-April-2001