Category: Fiction

Sheila Schwartz

Born: May 4, 1952Died: November 8, 2008 Ohio connection: Resident Cleveland A Philadelphia native, Sheila Miriam Schwartz was born to Philip and Ruth (Motiloff) Schwartz.  She graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in English in 1974 and earned her M.A. in creative writing from the State University of New York, Binghamton in 1981.  Schwartz …

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Isaac Mayer Wise

Isaac Mayer Wise

Born: March 29, 1819Died: March 26, 1900 Ohio connection: Resident Cincinnati American Reform rabbi, author, and editor, Isaac Mayer Wise was born in Steingrub, Bohemia (now Lomnička, Czech Republic) in 1819, the son of Leo Weiss, a school teacher, and Regina Weiss. He was a prominent and influential rabbi in 19th-century America. A brilliant student, …

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Karen Harper

Born: April 6, 1945Died: April 13, 2020 Ohio connection: Birth Toledo Karen S. Harper was born in Toledo, the daughter of Robert A. (an engineer and draftsman) and Margaret (a teacher) Kurtz. Harper was raised in Toledo and graduated from DeVilbiss High School in 1963. After graduating from Ohio University in 1967, Harper was awarded …

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Kay Boyle

Born: February 19, 1902Died: December 27, 1992 Ohio connection: Resident Cincinnati Kay Boyle was a writer, educator, and political activist. She was twice awarded Guggenheim fellowships and won the O. Henry Award for best short story of the year (“The White Horses of Vienna”) in 1935 and again (“Defeat”) in 1941.  Boyle held a number …

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Allan W. Eckert

Born: January 30, 1931Died: July 7, 2011 Ohio connection: Resident Bellefontaine Allan W. Eckert was born in Buffalo, New York, and was raised in and around Chicago, Illinois. Eckert was a child with an intense love of nature. “I remember crawling about in the gangways between buildings or in vacant lots, overturning boards and pieces of tin …

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James Flora

Born: January 25, 1914Died: July 9, 1998 Ohio connection: Birth Bellefontaine Mixing the pathos of surrealism with the impishness of cartoons, James Flora was the master of hand-drawn album cover art before the record industry’s switch to photographic covers in 1956. In the 1940s, Flora was one of the first artists to design and illustrate album covers, thereby …

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William Allen

Born: 1940 Ohio connection: Resident Columbus Born in Dallas, Texas, William Allen attended North Texas State University with famous classmates such as journalist Bill Moyers. After he received a BA in English from California State University at Long Beach in 1968, Allen was invited to be part of the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. In …

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Dove, Rita

Born: August 28, 1952 Ohio connection: Birth Akron The first African American, as well as the youngest individual, to be awarded the post of United States poet laureate (1993-95), Rita Dove desires to make poetry more appealing to the general reader. She was born on August 28, 1952, in Akron, Ohio, into a highly-educated family whose house …

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