Birthplace: Columbus, Mississippi
Typewriter: Remington Portable #5, Smith-Corona, Various Olivetti portables including Olivetti Studio 44
One of America’s greatest playwrights, and certainly the greatest ever from the South, Tennessee Williams wrote fiction and motion picture screenplays, but he is acclaimed primarily for his play—nearly all of which are set in the South, but which at their best rise above regionalism to approach universal themes. He won Pulitzer Prizes for A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof . Many believed that The Glass Menagerie deserved one as well.
During the Depression Williams worked as a factory hand and, after attending the University of Missouri and Washington University, graduated from the University of Iowa in 1938. Writing under his nickname, Tennessee, he began his career auspiciously with a Group Theater award (1939) for four one-act plays later published (1948) under the collective title American Blues. After a disappointment in his first professional production, Battle of Angels (1940), Williams combined semiautobiographical material with innovative technique in The Glass Menagerie (1945; film, 1950), and with this secured both that year's New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and lasting fame in the American theater