The Forum Remembers Great American Novelist E.L. Doctorow

The Forum is deeply saddened to hear of E.L. Doctorow’s passing just a few days ago. Considered a great novelist in American culture, Doctorow lived a long life full of prestige in the world of literature. His best-selling novels explored the American experience and reinvented historical fiction. Doctorow will be remembered as one of the most important American novelists of the 20th century. He was 84.

Named for Edgar Allan Poe, Edgar Lawrence Doctorow was born in New York City, attended the Bronx High School of Science, graduated with honors from Kenyon College, and did graduate work at Columbia University. In 1960, Doctorow published his first novel, Welcome to Hard Times. Following this, he released his second piece of work, Big as Life, in 1966. Doctorow’s reputation as a respected novelist came with his third novel, The Book of Daniel, published in 1971. In 1983, the novel was made into a movie, Daniel. 

Doctorow has received numerous awards for his work, including the National Book Award, two National Book Critics Circle Awards, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Edith Wharton Citation for Fiction, the William Dean Howell Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal.

Doctorow was also a friend of the Forum’s and made his guest appearance in 2006 at a Conversation along with writer Tony Kushner. E.L Doctorow was an incredible addition to our program and we are very grateful to have known him. He will be deeply missed as we celebrate the life of a great American novelist.

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