Nobel Prize for Literature

Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936

In 1936, Eugene O'Neill was the first American playwright to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Nobel Prize is the highest international recognition given to honor the creativity of the human mind.

On November 12, 1936, O'Neill received word that he had won the Nobel Prize while living in Seattle, Washington. At the time, he was not able to go to Stockholm to receive the award, but did write the acceptance speech. On February 17, 1937, O'Neill received his Nobel Certificate while in Oakland Merritt Hospital.

After O'Neill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936, the demands on the famous playwright became even greater. He wanted only time and solitude to write his plays while he was still healthy. Tao House and Carlotta's protectiveness were what he needed. "He doesn't like giving out energy," she wrote, "that could be, and should be, kept for his work." O'Neill was temporarily discouraged by World War II, believing the theatre frivolous in the face of the world's "tragic drama," but was soon working again, observing, "You can't keep a hophead off his dope for long."

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