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John Hersey
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    (June 17, 1914-March 24, 1993)
    Born in Tientsin, China
    Journalist and novelist
    Reporter for ‘Time’ and ‘The New Yorker’
    Best-known work of journalism was the ‘New Yorker’ article ‘Hiroshima’ (August 31, 1946)
    Wrote the novels ‘A Bell for Adano’ (1944), ‘The Wall’ (1950), ‘A Single Pebble’ (1956), ‘The Child Buyer’ (1960), ‘White Lotus’ (1965), ‘The Algiers Motel Incident’ (1968) and ‘The Call’ (1985)
    Master of Pierson College at Yale (1965-70)
    He frequently derided the ‘New Journalism’ (using storytelling techniques from fiction in reporting real events), even though his ‘Hiroshima’ is considered one of the first examples of the genre.
    He was a frequent plagiarist, including copying entire paragraphs from Laurence Bergreen’s biography of James Agee in his ‘New Yorker’ essay about Agee.
    He was so uncomfortable with the spoken word that he did not grant an interview until 1984 (with ‘Publisher’s Weekly’).
    The son of two YMCA missionaries in China, he learned to speak Chinese before he spoke English.
    As a war correspondent during WWII, he survived four plane crashes.
    He was commended by the Secretary of the Navy for helping to evacuate wounded soldiers from Guadalcanal.
    An article he wrote for ‘Life’ complaining about the dullness of grade-school reading material (‘Why Do Students Bog Down on the First R?’) inspired Dr. Seuss to write ‘The Cat in the Hat.’
    ‘A Bell for Adano’ won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
    A panel assembled by New York University judged ‘Hiroshima’ the finest piece of journalism of the 20th century.

Credit: C. Fishel

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