John Ernst Steinbeck
Born: February 27,1902 in the family home. He lived at 132 Central Avenue, Salinas,CA. He wrote his first stories here as a child.
Father: John Ernst Steinbeck. He lived 1863-1935. He was the County Treasurer.
Mother: Olive Hamilton Steinbeck. She lived 1867-1934. She was an elementaryteacher.
Sisters: Elizabeth Steinbeck Ainsworth. She was born on May 25,1894 and died onOctober 20, 1992. She lived in Pacific Grove, CA.
Esther Steinbeck Rodgers. She was born April 14,1892 and died on May 9,1986. Shelived in Watsonville, CA
Mary Steinbeck Dekker. She was born on January 9,1905 and died January 23,1965. Sheis buried in the family plot.
1919: Graduated from Salinas High School, then located on West Alisal Street acrossfrom the post office. Began attending Stanford University.
1919 – 1925: He attended Stanford University.
1925: He went to New York City, working odd jobs, including manual labor for theconstruction of Madison Square Garden. He was unable to find a publisher. He returnedto California the next year.
1929: Cup of Gold became his first published novel.
1930: Married Carol Henning and moved to the family home in Pacific Grove. His fatherhelped support the struggling couple. They divorced in 1942. She lived in Carmel Valley, CA after and died February 8, 1983.
1932: The Pastures of Heaven became his first published work set in Monterey County.
1934: His mother died in the Salinas home. John had stayed in the home to take care ofher. After this experience, Steinbeck wrote to a friend, “The house in Salinas is prettyhaunted now. I see things walking at night that it is not good to see.” Steinbeck wrote to
1934: A short story set in Monterey County, The Murder, won an O. Henry Prize.
1935: His father died. This was the first year Steinbeck had commercial success.Tortilla Flat was an instant hit.
1935: He won the Commonwealth Club of California Gold Medal for Best Novel by aCalifornian for Tortilla Flat.
1936: He again won the Commonwealth Club of California Gold Medal for Best Novelby a Californian for In Dubious Battle.
1936: Of Mice and Men, set around Soledad, was produced as a novel and then as a play.The Red Pony by Steinbeck also won recognition. Steinbeck mentioned labor violence inSalinas in a letter, “There are riots in Salinas and killings in the streets of that dear little town where I was born.