Jesse Lynch Williams


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(1871–1929), playwright. Born in Sterling, Illinois, and educated at Princeton, he began his career as a writer of short stories. He worked for a time on newspapers and used his experiences to write his first produced play, The Stolen Story (1906). Later he won the first Pulitzer Prize for drama for his study of young love, Why Marry? (1917). Five years later Why Not? (1922) told of two married couples who decide to exchange mates. His last play was Lovely Lady (1925), in which an amorous widow attempts to destroy a happy marriage. Williams also wrote several popular novels.

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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