Fun Facts Friday: Robert Penn Warren

Robert Penn Warren (24 April, 1905 – 15 September, 1989)) was an American novelist, critic, and poet laureate.

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  1. Mr. Warren was born in Guthrie, Kentucky. He was the oldest of three children born to Robert Franklin Warren, a banker, and Anna Ruth Penn Warren, a teacher.
  2. At the age of 15, Mr. Warren graduated from the Guthrie school, however his mother felt he was too young to go to college, so he enrolled in Clarksville High School, Clarksville, TN for one year.
  3. In 1921 he suffered a severe injury which led to the removal of his eye.
  4. His first poem was published in 1921 in The Messkit while he was attending the Citizens Military Training Corp, Fort Knox, Kentucky.
  5. At the age of 16, no longer able to attend the United States Naval Academy due to his missing eye, Mr. Warren entered Vanderbilt University. Mr. Warren graduated in 1925 summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and Founder’s Medalist.
  6. In 1939 Mr. Warren published his first novel, Night Rider.
  7. Mr. Warren’s best known work is the 1947 Pulitzer Prize winning novel All the King’s Men. The book was adapted to an Academy Award winning movie.
  8. Mr. Warren was selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities for the Jefferson Lecture (the US Federal Government’s highest honor for achievement in the humanities), in 1977 the author was awarded the St. Louis Literary Award from the Saint Louis University Library Associates, and presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980 by Jimmy Carter.
  9. In 1986 Mr. Warren was selected as the first U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1987.
  10. The house in Prairieville, Louisiana in which Mr. Warren lived in during his tenure at Louisiana State University is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is known as the Robert Penn Warren House.

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