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James Michener
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    (February 3, 1907-October 16, 1997)
    Born in New York City, New York
    Wrote 'Tales of the South Pacific' (1948), 'The Bridges at Toko-Ri' (1953), 'Sayanora' (1954), 'Hawaii' (1959), 'The Source' (1965), 'Centennial' (1974), 'Chesapeake' (1978), 'The Covenant' (1980), 'Space' (1982), 'Poland' (1983), 'Texas' (1985), 'Legacy' (1987), 'Alaska' (1988), 'Caribbean' (1989), 'Mexico' (1992) and 'Recessional' (1994)
    Wrote the autobiography 'The World Is My Home'
    He hitchhiked alone across the US as a young teen.
    His Pulitzer Prize win for 'Tales of the South Pacific' was controversial because many critics considered the book a collection of short stories rather than a novel.
    Michener noted, 'There were editorials that declared it was the least-deserving book in recent years to win the Pulitzer.'
    He and his second wife adopted two boys, but sent them back to the orphanage when their marriage broke up.
    In writing 'Covenant,' he submitted work written by researcher Errol Uys as his own, which biographer Stephen May called 'a scarlet literary crime.'
    He was abandoned shortly after birth and noted, 'I might be part Negro, might be part Jew, part Muslim, part Irish. So I can't afford to be supercilious about any group of people, because I may be that people.'
    After royalties from the musical 'South Pacific' freed him financially to write full-time, he quipped 'I have only one bit of advice to the beginning writer - be sure your first novel is read by Rodgers and Hammerstein.'
    Over his lifetime, he gave $100 million to charity.
    He said, 'I think it's remarkable that a man could write the stuff I do - lengthy, intricate, not dependent on sex or violence - and acquire the readership I have.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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