Stephen Birmingham

Born: May 28, 1929
Died: November 15, 2015

Ohio connection: Resident


Stephen Birmingham was born in 1929 in Andover, Connecticut, son of Thomas and Editha (née Gardner) Birmingham. He received a B.A. degree from Williams College in 1953 and also studied for a time in England. He married Janet Tillson in 1953 with whom he had three children.

Birmingham had a great interest in the upper classes and authored numerous books about the wealthy, sometimes characterizing race, national origin, or even locale. He wrote biographies of prominent people such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and novelist John Marquand, in addition to writing several novels. He is perhaps best known for a controversial study of the African-American upper class, Certain People, and for a trilogy of books on American Jews: Our CrowdThe Grandees: America`s Sephardic Elite; and The Rest of Us: The Rise of America’s Eastern European Jews. Some of Birmingham`s other non-fiction titles are California RichThe Grandes Dames; and Life at the Dakota: New York’s Most Unusual Address. Some of his novels include: The Auerbach WillThe LeBaron Secret, Shades of Fortune, and The Rothman Scandal.

In 1973, Birmingham moved to Cincinnati to serve as an adjunct professor of creative writing at the University of Cincinnati. 

Stephen Birmingham died of lung cancer on November 15, 2015, in New York City.


Additional Resources

Wikipedia Article: Stephen Birmingham YouTube Video: “Writer to Writer – Stephen Birmingham” Sponsored by Florida Community College at Jacksonville, a 1995 interview.