George Bernard Shaw

Writer / Critic

Born: 26 July 1856
Died: 2 November 1950 (Natural causes)
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Best known as: The author of Pygmalion
George Bernard Shaw was a superstar playwright and tart-tongued literary personality of the early 20th century. He first gained fame as a music critic under the pen name 'Corno di Bassetto,' but by then had already begun writing essays, political pamphlets, books and (eventually) plays. Among his most famous plays are Arms and the Man (1894), Major Barbara (1905), Saint Joan (1923), and Pygmalion (1914). The last was adapted 50 years later into the Broadway musical My Fair Lady. (Shaw also won an Oscar in 1938 for his screenplay for a non-musical movie version of Pygmalion.) For all these successes, Shaw is still better known for his famously large ego and sometimes prickly personality: He was a vegetarian and teetotaler, a radical socialist and social reformer, and a noted caustic wit who remained active until his death at age 94.
Extra credit: Shaw won the 1925 Nobel Prize for Literature. He remains the only person to win both an Oscar and a Nobel Prize. (American politician Al Gore won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and also starred in the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, but was not himself awarded an Oscar for the film)... Shaw's ascerbic style is sometimes described with the adjective Shavian.

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