It was fifty years ago today- Friday December 20, 1968- Author John Steinbeck the 1962 Nobel Prize winner for Literature died at the age of 66 in New York City of heart disease and congestive heart failure. Steinbeck in his career authored 27 books, including 16 novels, six non-fiction books and two collections of short stories.
Without question his most famous book is “The Grapes Of Wrath” which was published in 1939- a case where both the book and the later movie with Hank Fonda as Tom Joad- are both classics. The Grapes Of Wrath has sold over 14 million copies since it’s publication. The first book of Steinbeck’s that I read was a non-fiction one- “Travels With Charley” which was published in 1962- Steinbeck was late in his life at the time- and wrote about his travels around America with his dog, Charley. Other famous Steinbeck novels- Tortilla Flat, Cannery Row, East of Eden and Of Mice and Men. Most of Steinbeck’s work was set in central California.
In 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded Steinbeck the Presidential Medal of Freedom.