John Steinbeck Net Worth

How much was John Steinbeck worth?

Net Worth:$30 Million
Profession:Professional Author
Date of Birth:February 27, 1902
Country:United States of America
1.83 m

About John Steinbeck

The estimated wealth of John Steinbeck, an American author, short story writer, and journalist, is $30 million. He lived from February 27, 1902, until December 20, 1968. The Grapes of Wrath, a book set during the Great Depression, is Steinbeck’s most well-known work and won him the Pulitzer Prize. Many of Steinbeck’s books were adapted into popular plays and films, and many of them have since been recognized as modern classics. Both the Presidential Medal of Honor and the Nobel Prize in Literature were given to John Steinbeck in 1964.

American author and Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck had an estimated net worth of $30 million dollars at the time of his death, in 1968. He is known for his realistic and imaginative writings which won him the Nobel Prize in Literature (1962).
  • Dates: February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968
  • Also Known As: John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr.
  • Famous Quote: “Man is the only kind of varmint sets his own trap, baits it, then steps on it.”

Steinbeck’s Early Years

Olive Hamilton Steinbeck, a former teacher, and John Ernst Steinbeck, the owner of a nearby flour mill, welcomed John Steinbeck into the world on February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California. Three sisters were raised by young Steinbeck. He was slightly indulged and pampered by his mother because he was the only boy in the family.

John Ernst Sr. educated his children about farming and animal care while instilling in them a great reverence for the natural world. The family also kept a cow, a Shetland pony, and bred pigs and poultry. (Steinbeck’s subsequent story The Red Pony, which was inspired by the cherished pony named Jill, was written.)

The Steinbeck family valued reading strongly. John Steinbeck was taught to read by his parents while he was still a little child, even before he entered school. He soon discovered a talent for creating his own stories.

Years in High School and College

Steinbeck was a shy, awkward child who gained confidence in high school. Along with participating in basketball and swimming, he worked on the school newspaper. Steinbeck flourished thanks to his ninth-grade English instructor, who encouraged him to keep writing by praising his compositions.

In 1919, Steinbeck received his high school diploma and enrolled at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Steinbeck only enrolled in classes that he was interested in, such as literature, history, and creative writing, because he found many of the disciplines he had to take in order to graduate boring. Steinbeck periodically skipped classes before returning to them later (in part because he needed to work to pay his tuition).

Steinbeck lived among nomadic farmworkers while working on various California farms during harvest in between spells at Stanford. He gained insight into the migrant worker’s lifestyle in California as a result of this experience. Steinbeck cherished the anecdotes shared by his coworkers and promised to pay anyone who shared a tale he may use in one of his novels.

Steinbeck concluded he had had enough of college by 1925. He never finished his degree, but he departed, eager to begin the next stage of his life. Steinbeck fixed his sights on New York City while many aspiring writers of his time went to Paris to find inspiration.

Steinbeck visiting New York

Steinbeck sailed for New York City in November 1925 after working all summer to pay for his vacation. Before arriving in New York, he took a freighter across the Caribbean coast, via the Panama Canal, and down the shores of California and Mexico.

Once in New York, Steinbeck made a living doing a variety of professions, such as being a newspaper reporter and a construction worker. During his free time, he continued to write, and an editor encouraged him to submit his collection of stories for publication. Steinbeck discovered the editor had left the publishing company when he tried to submit his stories, and the new editor would not even consider them.

By this turn of events, Steinbeck became enraged and discouraged, giving up on his ambition to succeed as a writer in New York City. He arrived in California in the summer of 1926 after working aboard a freighter to pay for his journey back home.

Marriage and the Writer’s Life

Steinbeck obtained employment as a caretaker at a vacation property in Lake Tahoe, California, after his return. He produced a lot of work during his two years there, finishing Cup of Gold, his debut novel, and authoring a collection of short stories. The book was finally accepted by a publisher in 1929 after receiving numerous rejections.

In order to sustain himself, Steinbeck worked multiple jobs while continuing to write as frequently as he could. He first met Carol Henning, his first wife, while working at a fish hatchery. In January 1930, when Steinbeck’s first book had only moderate success, they got married.

Steinbeck and his wife were compelled to vacate their flat after the Great Depression because they were unable to find employment. Steinbeck’s father paid the couple a little monthly allowance and granted them permission to stay in the family cottage at Pacific Grove on Monterey Bay in California without paying rent as a gesture of support for his son’s writing career.

Writing Success

The Steinbecks loved living in Pacific Grove, where they met their lifelong friend Ed Ricketts, a neighbor. Ricketts, a marine biologist who managed a small lab, engaged Carol to assist with the bookkeeping of his facility. John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts had spirited philosophical debates that had a significant impact on Steinbeck’s worldview. Steinbeck eventually realized there were parallels between human and animal behavior in their different environments.

Steinbeck established a consistent writing schedule with Carol acting as his secretary and editor. He released his second collection of short tales in 1932, followed by To a God Unknown, his second book, in 1933. However, Steinbeck’s streak of good fortune ended when his mother experienced a serious stroke in 1933. To assist with her care, Steve and Carol moved into his parents’ Salinas home.

The Red Pony, which was initially released as a short tale and later expanded into a novella, was written by Steinbeck while he was sitting at his mother’s bedside and went on to become one of his most well-known works.

Despite his achievements, Steinbeck and his wife experienced financial hardship. When Olive Steinbeck passed away in 1934, Steinbeck and Carol as well as the senior Steinbeck returned to the Pacific Grove home since it required less maintenance than the enormous Salinas home.

Only five days before the release of Steinbeck’s first widely read book, Tortilla Flat, in 1935, Steinbeck’s father passed away. Steinbeck was forced to play the role of a minor celebrity as a result of the book’s success, which he did not enjoy.

“The Harvest Gypsies”

Near an effort to escape the constant attention brought on by Steinbeck’s rising celebrity, he and Carol constructed a new house in Los Gatos in 1936. Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck’s short story, was being written as the house was being constructed.

The San Francisco News commissioned Steinbeck to write a seven-part series about the migrant farm workers that populated California’s rural districts as his next assignment in 1936.

In order to gather information for his report, Steinbeck visited a number of squatters’ camps as well as a government-sponsored “The Harvest Gypsies” (the series is labeled “sanitary camp”). He discovered horrific conditions in several of the camps, where people were starving to death and succumbing to disease.

John Steinbeck had a lot of compassion for the exploited and displaced laborers, who were now joined by American families escaping the Dust Bowl states as well as immigrants from Mexico. He made the decision to pen a book titled “The Oklahomans.” about Dust Bowl refugees. The Joad family, an Oklahoman family who were forced to abandon their farm during the Dust Bowl years in search of a better life in California, served as the protagonists of the story.

The Grapes of Wrath, a masterpiece by John Steinbeck

In May 1938, Steinbeck started writing his newest book. He later claimed that when he began writing the story, it was completely complete in his mind. Steinbeck finished The Grapes of Wrath in October 1938, exactly 100 days after he started, with Carol’s assistance with typing and editing the 750-page manuscript (she also came up with the title). In April 1939, Viking Press released the book.

California vegetable growers were outraged by The Grapes of Wrath because they believed that the migrants’ circumstances were not nearly as dire as Steinbeck had depicted them. They declared Steinbeck to be a communist and a liar. Soon after, journalists from newspapers and magazines decided to explore the camps firsthand and discovered that they were every bit as depressing as Steinbeck had depicted. Eleanor Roosevelt, the first lady, also toured various camps and reached the same conclusion.

The Grapes of Wrath, one of the all-time best-selling books, received the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 and was successfully adapted into a film the following year.

Steinbeck’s marriage suffered due to the stress of finishing the book, despite his amazing accomplishment. Even worse, when Carol fell pregnant in 1939, Steinbeck put pressure on her to abort the child. Carol need a hysterectomy as a result of the failed procedure.

trip to Mexico

In March 1940, Steinbeck and his wife set out on a six-week boat trip to Mexico’s Gulf of California with their buddy Ed Ricketts because they were tired of all the attention. The journey was made with the intention of gathering and cataloging plant and animal species. A book titled Sea of Cortez that the two guys wrote about the journey was released. Despite not being a commercial success, some people commended the book for its important contribution to marine science.

In an attempt to save their failing marriage, Steinbeck’s wife had came along. In 1941, John and Carol Steinbeck divorced. After relocating to New York City, Steinbeck started seeing Gwyn Conger, a singer and actress who was 17 years his junior. In 1943, the Steinbecks got divorced.

One positive result of the journey was the inspiration Steinbeck received for one of his best-known novellas, The Pearl, from a tale he overheard in a little village. A teenage fisherman’s life in the tale is tragically changed by the discovery of a priceless pearl. A movie based on The Pearl was also produced.

The Second Marriage of Steinbeck

When Steinbeck married Gwyn Conger in March 1943, she was only 24 years old and he was 41. To his wife’s chagrin, Steinbeck accepted a job as a war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune just a few months after being married. His stories focused more on the human experience of World War II than they did on actual combat or military operations.

Steinbeck lived with American soldiers for several months and participated in various battles.

Gwyn gave birth to her son Thom in August 1944. In October 1944, the family relocated to a new house in Monterey. Cannery Row, a lighter-hearted book than Steinbeck’s earlier ones with a main character modeled by Ed Ricketts, is where he started writing. In 1945, the book was released.

Back in New York City, the family settled down, and in June 1946, Gwyn gave birth to son John Steinbeck IV. In 1948, Gwyn requested Steinbeck for a divorce because she was unhappy in the union and yearned to resume her profession. She then took the boys back to California and filed for divorce.

Steinbeck was grieved to learn of the passing of his close friend Ed Ricketts, who had been murdered when his car collided with a train in May 1948, just before his break-up with Gwyn.

The Nobel Prize and a third marriage

Steinbeck eventually made his way back to the Pacific Grove home of his parents. Before meeting Elaine Scott, a successful Broadway stage manager, he spent a long period feeling depressed and lonely. Elaine Scott eventually became his third wife. When Elaine was 36 years old and Steinbeck was 48, they got married in New York City in 1950. They first met in California in 1949.

East of Eden is the title of the new book that Steinbeck started writing and originally titled “The Salinas Valley,” After its release in 1952, the book was a best-seller. In addition to publishing shorter pieces for periodicals and newspapers, Steinbeck continued to work on novels. Based in New York, he and Elaine frequently visited Europe and lived in Paris for almost a year.

Despite having a small stroke in 1959 and a heart attack in 1961, Steinbeck continued to produce work. Both The Winter of Our Discontent and Travels with Charley, a non-fiction book about a road journey Steinbeck took with his dog, were published by the author in 1961.

John Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in October 1962. Because his best work, The Grapes of Wrath, was published so long ago, several critics felt he wasn’t deserving of the honor.

Steinbeck was given the Presidential Medal of Honor in 1964, although he believed his body of work didn’t merit it.

Due to a second stroke and two heart attacks that left him weak, Steinbeck needed oxygen and nursing care at home. At the age of 66, he passed away from heart failure on December 20, 1968. John Steinbeck had a $30 million net worth when he passed away.

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