Kurt Vonnegut

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Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., (pronounced /ˈvɒnɨɡət/; November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century. He wrote such works as Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Cat's Cradle (1963), and Breakfast of Champions (1973) blending satire, black comedy, and science fiction. He was known for his humanist beliefs and was honorary president of the American Humanist Association.[2]



Early years

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to third-generation German-American parents, Kurt Vonnegut, Sr., and Edith Lieber.[3] Both his father and his grandfather attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and were architects in the Indianapolis firm of Vonnegut & Bohn. His great-grandfather was the founder of the Vonnegut Hardware Company, an Indianapolis institution.[4] Vonnegut graduated from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis in May 1940 and matriculated to Cornell University that fall. Though majoring in Chemistry, he was Assistant Managing Editor and Associate Editor of The Cornell Daily Sun.[5] He was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity, as was his father. While at Cornell, Vonnegut enlisted in the U.S. Army.[6] The Army transferred him to the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the University of Tennessee to study Mechanical Engineering.[2] On Mothers' Day in 1944, his mother committed suicide with sleeping pills.[7]

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