Monday, October 15, 2012

American Playwright Eugene O'Neill

In a city known for it’s talented musicians, authors and artists, few have had the success that NYC-born Eugene O’Neill had. This American playwright completed over 35 plays and won four Pulitzer Prizes during his 30-year career.

Not the greatest family guy – he disowned two out of his three children: his daughter Oona for marrying Charlie Chaplin and his son Shane for his addiction to heroin – O’Neill was a brilliant writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936, “for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy.”

Sadly, by the end of his career O’Neill developed a Parkinson’s-like tremor in his hands that kept him from writing for the last ten years of his life. Born in the Barrett Hotel in Longacre Square in Manhattan (now Times Square) on October 16, 1888, Eugene O’Neill died in Boston’s Sheraton Hotel on November 27, 1953, after uttering his last words, “I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room and died in a hotel room.”