Fun Facts Friday: Upton Sinclair

September 20, 2019

Upton Sinclair (20 September, 1878 – 25 November, 1968) was an American writer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, who published books in several genres.

Books by Upton Sinclair*
Books by Upton Sinclair*

  1. Mr. Sinclair was born in Baltimore, MD as Upton Beall Sinclair Jr. His father, a liquor salesman, was an alcoholic, while his mother, Priscilla Harden Sinclair, was very strict and hated alcohol, tea, and coffee.
  2. The family moved around a lot and the author only started school at age 10. He worked very hard to catch up to his classmates because he was embarrassed.
  3. Before publishing his award winning book, The Jungle (1906), Mr. Sinclair worked seven weeks in one of Chicago’s meatpacking plants and spent six months investigating the industry as research.
  4. After the book was published, Congress was pushed by public lobbying to regulate the meat industry  including passing of the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act.
  5. Mr. Sinclair found the California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and ran twice for the US Congress as a Socialist. He lost both times.
  6. His wife, Meta Fuller, was a childhood friend. Ms. Fuller was Virginia royalty (or as close as one could get to it) and her family was one of the first ones to settle in the state.
  7. Mr. Sinclair wrote both fiction and non-fiction books criticizing the socio-economic conditions of the early 20th century.
  8. The 11 novels of the Lanny Budd series, about an American arms dealer who befriends world leaders while witnessing, and influencing world events, were bestsellers and translated to 21 languages.
  9. The third novel in the Lanny Budd series, Dragon’s Teeth (1942), won the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
  10. The 2007 Academy Award winning motion picture There Will Be Blood was adapted from his novel Oil!

Books by Upton Sinclair*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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