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Biographies - Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut
Image Source: Evolutionary Mythology in the Writings of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Kurt Vonnegut
Born: November 11, 1922
Died: April 11, 2007
American novelist known for works blending satire, black comedy, and science fiction, such as "Slaughterhouse Five" (1969), "Cat's Cradle" (1963), and "Breakfast of Champions" (1973).


Links: Kurt Vonnegut @ Wikipedia: Kurt Vonnegut
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patrickryan Kurt VonnegutKurt Vonnegut8/09,9:07PM

Kurt Vonnegut was a major figure in modern American literature since the 1950s. He wrote nearly twenty books and was the creator of such characters as Kilgore Trout, a quirky and little-known science-fiction writer; Eliot Rosewater, an altruistic millionaire; and Billy Pilgrim, a wanderer through time. Vonneguts first novel, Player Piano, was published in 1952, but it wasn until 1959, after his satirical science-fiction novel Sirens of Titan was published, that he achieved widespread acclaim. His novels of the 1960s include "Cats Cradle", "Mother Night", recently made into a film, "God Bless You Mr. Rosewater" and "Slaughterhouse Five", a semi-autobiographical novel in which he recounts his experience as a witness to the 1945 bombing of Dresden. Vonneguts other novels include "Breakfast of Champions", "Jailbird", "Galapagos" and "Hocus Pocus". "Timequake" (1997) was his final book.

Vonnegut grew up in Indianapolis and frequently refered to the city in his novels. He attended Cornell University as an undergraduate, where he wrote a column for the Cornell Daily Sun. In 1943, he left the university to volunteer for military service and through the military, studied mechanical engineering at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh and at the University of Tennessee. In 1945, as a prisoner of war, he survived the Allied bombing of Dresden that took the lives of 135,000 people, an experience to which he credits his success as a novelist. After the war, Vonnegut worked toward a masters degree in anthropology at the University of Chicago, but he left after his thesis, "Fluctuations Between Good and Evil in Simple Tales" was not accepted. He worked for a few years as a publicist for General Electric, but left that post in 1951 to become a full-time writer.

He married his childhood sweetheart, Jane Marie Cox, after returning from World War II, but the couple separated in 1970. He did not divorce Cox until 1979, but from 1970 Vonnegut lived with the woman who would later become his second wife, photographer Jill Krementz. Krementz and Vonnegut were married after the divorce from Cox was finalized.

On January 31, 2000, a fire destroyed the top story of his home. Vonnegut suffered smoke inhalation and was hospitalized in critical condition for four days. He survived, but his personal archives were destroyed. After leaving the hospital, he recuperated in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Vonnegut died at the age of 84 on April 11, 2007, in Manhattan, New York after a fall at his Manhattan home several weeks prior resulted in irreversible brain injuries.

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