Stephen Crane biography

Stephen Crane

Novelist, Author

1871 – 1900


Who was Stephen Crane?

Stephen Crane was an American author. Prolific throughout his short life, he wrote notable works in the Realist tradition as well as early examples of American Naturalism and Impressionism. He is recognized by modern critics as one of the most innovative writers of his generation.

The eighth surviving child of Methodist Protestant parents, Crane began writing at the age of four and had published several articles by the age of 16. Having little interest in university studies, he left school in 1891 to work as a reporter and writer. Crane's first novel was the 1893 Bowery tale Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, generally considered by critics to be the first work of American literary Naturalism. He won international acclaim in 1895 for his Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage, which he wrote without any battle experience.

In 1896, Crane endured a highly publicized scandal after appearing as a witness in the trial of a suspected prostitute, an acquaintance named Dora Clark. Late that year he accepted an offer to travel to Cuba as a war correspondent. As he waited in Jacksonville, Florida, for passage, he met Cora Taylor, the madam of a brothel, with whom he began a lasting relationship. En route to Cuba, Crane's ship sank off the coast of Florida, leaving him and others adrift for several days in a dinghy. Crane described the ordeal in "The Open Boat". During the final years of his life, he covered conflicts in Greece and lived in England with Cora, where he befriended writers such as Joseph Conrad and H. G. Wells. Plagued by financial difficulties and ill health, Crane died of tuberculosis in a Black Forest sanatorium at the age of 28.


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Nov 1, 1871
  • United States of America
  • Syracuse University
    Liberal arts education
    (Specialized in English Literature)
    ( - 1891)
  • Lafayette College
    Mining engineering
    (1888 - )
  • The Pennington School
    (1885 - 1887)
  • Claverack College
    (1887 - 1888)
Lived in
  • Newark
Jun 5, 1900

on July 23, 2013

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