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John Steinbeck was born on February 27 1902 in Salinas California shortly after the end of the Civil War His mother was a schoolteacher in the public school system in Salinas Steinbeck grew up in the fertile California where he found the materials for most of his novels and short stories Steinbeck demonstrated a great imagination which was kindled by writing at a very early age partly due to his mother the schoolteacher whom read to him at a very early at the many great works of literature During his teen years Steinbeck played various sports in high school worked numerous part time dead end jobs and wondered around the fertile valley The lessons and observations he made while wandering provided much of the material for his later works Steinbeck entered Stanford University in 1920 and even though he attended the school until 1925 he never graduated Lacking the desire to acquire a formal degree from the Stanford University Steinbeck wandered to New York to pursue a writing career While working on his writing and while receiving an endless supply of rejection slips Steinbeck worked odd jobs The New York American newspaper was where Steinbeck held a job writing various articles for some time before the newspaper went bankrupt The failure of the newspaper and endless supply of rejection letter forced Steinbeck to return to California broken but still hopeful Steinbecks first novel Cup of Gold was published in 1929 two months before the horrific stock market crash causing the novel to nearly unnoticed with barely fifteen hundred copies selling 1930 was a very important year for Steinbeck in two areas First he married Carol Henning and the newlyweds settled in Pacific Grove which he often wrote of There Steinbeck met Ed Ricketts whose friendship strongly influenced Steinbecks works During the Great Depression of the nineteen thirties Steinbeck knew many people who were considered to be the cross section of society and shared many
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