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Eugene O'Neill was a famed playwright and his masterpiece, Long Day's Journey into Night produced posthumouslyis at the apex of a long string of great plays, including Beyond the HorizonAnna ChristieStrange InterludeAh! Wilderness and The Iceman Cometh O'Neill died on November 27,in Boston, Massachusetts.

His talent for poignant and piercing dramas sprang from a life marked by challenges. After O'Neill was born, his mother developed an addiction to morphine.

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She had been given the drug to help her through her particularly difficult childbirth. Ella was also still grieving for O'Neill's older brother, Edmund, who had died of the measles three years earlier. The couple also had another son, James Jr.

His father continued on with his role in a touring production of The Count of Monte Cristo shortly after O'Neill's birth. O'Neill spent much of his early life on the road with his father. Shortly before his 7th birthday, however, he was sent away to boarding school; O'Neill spent years at the St.

Aloysius Academy for Boys, where he received a strict Catholic upbringing.

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He then went to Betts Academy, a prep school in Stamford, Connecticut. InO'Neill enrolled at Princeton University, but his heart wasn't in his studies, and he was either dismissed for missing too many classes or left after only 10 months at the school. After leaving Princeton, O'Neill floundered for a time. He took several sea voyages, ran around town with brother James and indulged heavily in alcohol.

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InO'Neill battled tuberculosis. While recuperating from his illness, he found his calling as a playwright, finding inspiration from such European dramatists as August Strindberg and later enrolling in a writing class at Harvard University. O'Neill had his first play produced in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in Bound East for Cardiffa one-act play that was staged in New York later that year.

Also inO'Neill made a second attempt at domestic bliss.

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He married fellow writer Agnes Boulton, and the couple eventually had two children together, son Shane and daughter Oona. O'Neill took the theatrical world by storm in with Beyond the Horizonwhich won a Pulitzer Prize.

InO'Neill brought his drama Anna Christie to the Broadway stage; this tale of a prostitute's return home netted the playwright his second Pulitzer Prize. O'Neill suffered a personal loss with the death of his brother the following year. By this time, the playwright had also lost both of his parents. But O'Neill's private struggles seemed to aid him in creating greater dramatic works for the stage, including Desire Under the Elms and Strange Interlude Around this time, O'Neill left his second wife and quickly began a relationship with Carlotta Monterey, whom he married in Five years later, he became the first American playwright to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

He was given this honor "for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy," according to the Nobel Prize website. O'Neill completed Long Day's Journey Into Night in the early s, but he refused to have this autobiographical play produced until long after his death.

Around this same time, he Stamford Connecticut icemen date a falling out with daughter Oona; he chose to end his relationship with Oona after she married actor Charlie Chaplin. After several years' absence from the stage, inO'Neill returned with one of his most heralded works, The Iceman Cometha dark drama that explores the lives of a group of barflies.


The following year, the playwright learned that he had Parkinson's disease, and found it impossible to write due to the tremors in his hands. InO'Neill, never a supportive parent, cut ties with his youngest son, Shane, after Shane was arrested for drug possession. Two years later, his eldest son, Eugene, committed suicide. O'Neill died of bronchial pneumonia on November 27,at the age of 65, in Boston, Massachusetts, leaving behind a tremendous literary legacy of more than 50 plays.

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His work continues to move and fascinate audiences today. We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, ! Subscribe to the Biography newsletter to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives. Arthur Miller is considered one of the greatest American playwrights of the 20th century. Robert Frost was an American poet who depicted realistic New England life through language and situations familiar to the common man.

He won four Pulitzer Prizes for his work and spoke at John F. Kennedy's inauguration. Eugene O'Neill was the first American dramatist to regard the stage as a literary medium and the first U.

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Eugene O'Neill