E.L. Doctorow

Date Of Birth:
6 January 1931
Date Of Death:
lung cancer
Place Of Birth:
The Bronx, New York
Best Known As:
The author of the 1975 novel Ragtime

Name at birth: Edgar Lawrence Doctorow

E.L. Doctorow was a critically acclaimed bestselling author of historically flavored novels, the most famous of which is 1975’s Ragtime. His 1985 novel, World’s Fair, won the National Book Award for Fiction, and over the course of his long career Doctorow won many awards and honors. Born and raised in the Bronx, he studied writing at Ohio’s Kenyon College and New York’s Columbia University, and began his professional career as a book and script reader for Columbia Pictures. His first novel was Welcome to Hard Times, published in 1960. The book was critically praised, but Doctorow worked more as an editor and publisher, first for the New American Library and then for Dial Press. After the success of 1971’s The Book of Daniel, Doctorow devoted himself to writing (and teaching), and had found his place in modern literature: historical events and figures as a backdrop for stories of Americans and their problems. He was known for his mastery of structure and sometimes experimental prose, as well as memorable characterizations. Hollywood tried to bring Doctorow to the big screen a few times: Welcome to Hard Times (1967, starring Henry Fonda), Ragtime (1981, with James Cagney), Daniel (1983, starring Timothy Hutton) and Billy Bathgate (1991, starring Dustin Hoffman). Doctorow’s other novels include Loon Lake (1980), Billy Bathgate (1989), The Waterworks (1994) and City of God (2000).
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