Arthur Miller

“Arthur Miller is considered one of the greatest American playwrights of the 20th century. His best known plays include ‘All My Sons,’ ‘A View from the Bridge,’ ‘The Crucible’ and the Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘Death of a Salesman.” 1

– Arthur Miller was born in New York City on the 17th of October 1915 and was given the name: Arthur Asher Mahler. His parents where jewish immigrants from Poland. His father, a well-to-do merchant (coat manufacturing) and his mother an educator, changed the name Mahler, to Miller, to help their children to have better chances to succeed in America. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 affected the family strongly, they nearly lost everything and had to move from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Arthur was 14 by this time and probably realized, that money and worklife had the potential to ruin lifes. This might be the reason, why he was famous to be a social-critic playwrite.

– From 1934 to 1938 he attends “the University of Michigan to study journalism but transfers to an English major in 1936. 2” “While in college, he wrote for the student paper and completed his first play, No Villain, for which he won the school’s Avery Hopwood Award.”1 It took him over 9 years to get his career going. His play: All my sons (1947) received several awards. “His first critical and popular success was Death of a Salesman, which opened on Broadway in 1949 and won the Pulitzer Prize along with multiple Tonys. He received more acclaim for his award-winning follow up The Crucible, which reflected his unwavering refusal to cooperate with the House of Un-American Activities Committee.” 1

Wives and children
– In 1956, Miller divorced his first wife, Mary Slattery, his former college sweetheart with whom he had two children, Jane Ellen and Robert. Less than a month later, Miller married actress and Hollywood sex symbol Marilyn Monroe (..). Author Norman Mailer called their marriage the union of “the Great American Brain” and “the Great American Body.” 1 1961 “ (..) he is divorced from Marilyn Monroe, who dies in 1962 of a drug overdose.” 2 In the same year Miller married Austrian-born photographer Inge Morath. The couple had two children, Rebecca and Daniel. Miller insisted that their son, Daniel, who was born with Down syndrome, be excluded from the family’s personal life. The infant was institutionalized (..).1

– Arthur Miller died on February 10, 2005, which happened to be the 56th anniversary of Death of a Salesman’s Broadway debut. Surrounded by Barley, family and friends, the legendary playwright died of heart failure, after battling cancer and pneumonia, at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut. He was 89 years old.

List of references:
2. EinFach Englisch, Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman, Schöningh Verlag 2013 sowie Wikipedia/ Photo: Commons

5534cb34677f4129b73987133c5d60bc - Biographie Arthur Miller
Biographie Arthur Miller
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