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Tennessee Williams A Great American Author Thomas Lanier Williams born in Columbus Mississippi to Edwina Dakin and Cornelius Coffin Williams became one of the nations greatest playwrights He was born on March 26 1911 in his grandfather Reverend Walter E Dakins Episcopal Church Williams mother Edwina was a lively and colorful woman She married a man whom contradicted her lifestyle That man was Cornelius Williams a gruff pistol dueler with a violent temper He was a lieutenant in the Spanish American War and a descendent from frontiersmen Cornelius and Edwina married and continued to live in Mississippi Cornelius had a job as a traveling salesman Thomas became sick with diphtheria at age five which is how his love for literature bloomed He lived in Mississippi until his family moved to St Louis The move was hard on him The change from living in his grandfathers church to a tight tenement began to form a type of neuroses in Thomas He spent most of his time with his mother and older sister Rose His sister was also affected by the change she became mentally ill due to fear and anxiety Thomas also had a brother named Dakin Williamss mother gave him the gift of a typewriter which helped him hide from the world and express his feelings He entered several contests and won cash prizes His first published story was in a pulp magazine named Weird Tales That summer a trip to Europe with his grandfather and their parish opened his eyes to the world Until then he had seen very little of the country That trip cemented Thomass love for his grandfather Reverend Dakin Williams spent three years at the University of Missouri where he joined a fraternity but flunked the ROTC to the dismay of his father Tennessee a nickname given to him by fraternity members found that he was able to hide his shyness in alcohol Due to depression Tom took a
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