E(lwyn) B(rooks) White (1899-1985)
E.B. White was born in Mount Vernon, New York, the son of a prosperous piano manufacturer. After service as an Army private in 1918, he entered Cornell University and graduated in 1921. White worked in some miscellaneous jobs, such as a reporter for United Press, the American Legion News Service, and the Seattle Times.
In 1924 he returned to New York. He worked as a production assistant and advertising copywriter before joining the newly established New Yorker. There he met his wife, Katherine Sergeant Angell, who was the magazine's literary editor. They married in 1929. For 11 years he wrote for the magazine editorial essays and contributed verse and other pieces.
From 1929 White worked for The New Yorker's weekly magazine, remaining on its staff for the rest of his career.
In 1939 he moved to a farm in North Brooklyn, Maine, and continued his writing career without the obligations of a regular job. White mostly wrote for adults but did write a few books aimed at children. His children's books include Stuart Little (1945), depicting an independent and adventurous mouse born into a human family, Charlotte's Web (1952), the story of the friendship between a young pig and a spider, who craftily saves him from the butcher's knife only to die alone, and The Trumpet Of The Swan (1970). In these works White explores such themes as salvation, friendship, and rural living and they have become for many young readers unforgettable guides to the world of fiction.
E.B. White died of Alzheimer disease on October 1, 1985 in North Brooklyn, Maine. He was awarded the gold medal for essays and criticism of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and a Pulitzer Prize special citation in 1978. He held honorary degrees from seven American colleges and universities and was a member of the American Academy.