Upton Sinclair

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Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr. (September 20, 1878 – November 25, 1968), was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author who wrote over 90 books in many genres. He achieved popularity in the first half of the 20th century, acquiring particular fame for his 1906 muckraking novel The Jungle. It exposed conditions in the U.S. meat packing industry, causing a public uproar that contributed in part to the passage a few months later of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act.[1] Time magazine called him "a man with every gift except humor and silence."[2]

Contents

Early life and education

Sinclair was born in Baltimore, Maryland to Upton Beall Sinclair and Priscilla Harden. His father was a liquor salesman whose alcoholism shadowed his son's childhood. Sinclair had wealthy grandparents with whom he often stayed. This gave him insight into how both the rich and the poor lived during the late 19th century. Living in two social settings affected him greatly and highly influenced his novels.

In 1888, the Sinclair family moved to the Bronx, New York, where Sinclair entered the City College of New York, then a prep school, at the age of thirteen. He wrote novels and magazine articles to pay for his tuition. He graduated in 1897 and then studied for a time at Columbia University.[3]

Marriage and family

Sinclair married his first wife, Meta Fuller, in 1902. Around 1911, Meta left Sinclair for the poet Harry Kemp, later known as the Dunes Poet of Provincetown, Massachusetts.

In 1913 Sinclair married Mary Craig Kimbrough (1883–1961), a woman from an elite Greenwood, Mississippi family who had written articles and a book on Winnie Davis, the "Daughter of the Confederacy". In the 1920s, they moved to California. She was later tested for psychic abilities. They were married until her death in 1961.

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