Arthur Miller was a prominent American playwright and author. He was known for his achievements in American literature and cinema. He wrote for more than 61 years, including a wide variety of plays. Miller's best-known works were “Death of a Salesman," and "The Crucible," which are still widely studied and performed.
Youth and education
Arthur Asher Miller was born on October 17, 1915, to a low-income Jewish family in New York. His father was a clothing manufacturer who was ruined during the Depression. His mother was a housewife and teacher. Arthur had a brother, Kermit, and a sister, Joan Miller. Joan became an actress, known as Joan Copeland. She appeared in some of her brother's plays.
Arthur graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School near Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York. He was a talented athlete and mediocre student. He applied to, and was subsequently rejected by, the University of Michigan and Cornell University. Miller got a job at a car parts factory, then put $13 of every $15 paycheck he earned into a college fund. He then reapplied to the University of Michigan and was accepted in 1934.
Miller studied journalism and drama. He wrote his first work in 1936, entitled “No Villain," for which he won the Avery Hopwood Award, the first of two he would receive. In 1938, Miller received his bachelor's degree in English. He married his college sweetheart, Mary Slattery, in 1940. They had two children, Jane and Robert. Miller was exempted from military service during World War II because of an old football injury.
A career — and troubles
Miller wrote the play, “All My Sons," in 1947, and became a huge success. He then wrote “Death of a Salesman" in 1949. The work won the Pulitzer Prize, three Tony Awards, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award — the first play to win all three. In January 1953, “The Crucible" opened on Broadway.
In June 1956, Miller was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). He was found guilty of contempt of Congress in May 1957, when he refused to reveal the members of a literary circle suspected of communist affiliation. However, his conviction was overturned in August 1958, by the U.S. Court of Appeals.
In 1956, Miller divorced his wife. He married Marilyn Monroe on June 29, 1956. She had converted to Judaism for the marriage. However, they were divorced in 1961, after he had left her for photographer Inge Morath.
Miller married Morath in 1962, and they had two children. His son, Daniel, was reported to have been born with Downe Syndrome and placed in an institution. Miller never visited Daniel, and didn’t mention the child in his autobiography. His daughter, Rebecca Miller, is a screenwriter, director and actor.
Arthur remained married to Inge until her death in 2001. He died on February 10, 2005 of heart failure. Miller is remembered as one of the most notable playwrights in American history.
See also Lillian Hellman .
---- Selected Quotes ----
Quotes by Arthur Miller.
Regarding State Department
I have made more friends for American culture than the State Department. Certainly I have made fewer enemies, but that isn't very difficult.
After being refused a passport for disloyalty, 1954
Regarding The Crucible
The Crucible became by far my most frequently produced play, both abroad and at home. Its meaning is somewhat different in different places and moments. I can almost tell what the political situation in a country is when the play is suddenly a hit there — it is either a warning of tyranny on the way or a reminder of tyranny just past.
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Red Scare: Memories of the American Inquisition: An Oral History by Griffin Fariello.
For many, the anti-Communist hysteria that began in the 1940s has been lost in the dustbin of history - an era remembered, if at all, by fading photog...