Arthur Asher Miller, 1915 - 2005

portrait of Arthur Miller
U.S. State Department photo
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Born: 17 October 1915, New York City
Died: 10 February 2005, Roxbury, Connecticut

Miller, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, attended public school at Manhattan. In his early years the family was quite wealthy, his father's clothing store employed 400, but the business didn't survive the depression, the family moved to Brooklyn and Arthur delivered bread before classes at Abraham Lincoln High. After graduation in 1932 he worked several jobs to pay for tuition at the University of Michigan where he earned a BA in 1938. He joined the Federal Theater Project, when it was canceled he worked at the Brooklyn Nay Yard while also writing radio plays. He was exempt from military service during the war due to knee injuries from high school football. He had his first Broadway success with All My Sons in 1946, picking up his first Tony. In 1948 Miller built a studio at Roxbury, Connecticut, the Millers and their two children made Roxbury their permanent home. followed in 1949, winning a Pulitzer, three Tony Awards, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the first play to win all three. Elia Kazan accused Miller of being a Communist before the House Un-American Activities Committee, leading to a number of problems but inspiring The Crucible, a play about the Salem witchcraft trials that has been the most-often produced of Miller's plays. (The Quotemaster actually had a bit part in a high school production of that play in 1970, although he doesn't remember what part it was.) The State Department refused to renew his passport in 1956 due to Kazan's charges, and HUAC subpoenaed him to appear. The chair agreed not to ask Miller to name others during his testimony, then demanded the names anyway. Miller, with second wife Marilyn Monroe at his side, refused and was held in contempt of Congress, a conviction that was overturned two years later. Despite his alleged Communist activities, his work was banned in the Soviet Union in 1969. He died at home following a battle with cancer, pneumonia, and congestive heard disease.

Biography from Wikipedia and The Guardian obituary

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