Eugene O'Neill is best known as a playwright, but his texts have become part of the American song repertoire through the compositions of John Musto and Nancy Van de Vate.
Photo: Eugene O'Neill, 1933, photo by Carl Van Vechten, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Born in New York City, Eugene O'Neill's father was a successful touring actor, and he, his brother, and his mother followed his father around the country. Therefore, a life in the theater was always a part of O'Neill.
After struggling as a teenager and young adult, O'Neill began writing plays in his mid-twenties. His first one-act play, Bound East for Cardiff, was produced in 1916 by small experimental theater in Massachusetts. Later that year, the same play was produced in Greenwich Village by the same group, now relocated and renamed the Playwrights' Theatre.
O'Neill's first full length play, Beyond the Horizon (1920), won him the first of four Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. His most well-known works include The Iceman Cometh and Long Day's Journey Into the Night. His own tragic family history provided most of the material of his plays. O'Neill received the Nobel Prize in 1936, the only American playwright to have ever received the prize.
For more information about Eugene O'Neill, please visit the links listed to the right.
--Christie Finn Source: Encyclopedia Britannica