John P. Marquand

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John Phillips Marquand (November 10, 1893 – July 16, 1960) was a 20th-century American writer. Originally best known for his Mr. Moto spy stories, he achieved popular success and critical respect for his satirical novels, winning a Pulitzer Prize for The Late George Apley in 1938. One of his abiding themes was the confining nature of life in America's upper class and among those who aspired to join it. Marquand treated those whose lives were bound by these unwritten codes with a characteristic mix of respect and satire.

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Youth and early adulthood

Marquand was a scion of an old Newburyport, Massachusetts, family. He was a great-nephew of 19th-century writer Margaret Fuller and a cousin of Buckminster Fuller, who gained fame in the 20th century as the inventor of the geodesic dome. Marquand was born in Wilmington, Delaware, and grew up in the New York suburbs. When financial reverses broke up the family's comfortable household, he was sent to Newburyport, Massachusetts, where he was raised by his eccentric aunts, who lived in a crumbling Federal Period mansion, surrounded by remnants of the family's vanished glory. (Marquand's ancestors had been successful merchants in the Revolutionary period; Margaret Fuller and other aunts had been actively involved with the Transcendentalist and Abolitionist movements.)

Marquand attended Newburyport High School, where he won a scholarship that enabled him to attend Harvard. As an impecunious public school graduate in the heyday of Harvard's "Gold Coast", he was an unclubbable outsider. Though turned down by the college newspaper, the Harvard Crimson, Marquand succeeded in being elected to the editorial board of the humor magazine, the Harvard Lampoon. He graduated from Harvard University in 1915. After graduating from Harvard, Marquand was hired by The Boston Evening Transcript, initially he worked as a reporter, later he worked on the Transcript's bi-weekly magazine section. magazine.[1]

Like many of his classmates, he served in the First World War. While he was a student at Harvard, Marquard joined Battery A of the Massachusetts National Guard, in 1916 this unit was activated and in July 1916 Marquard was sent to the Mexican border.[1]

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