Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Benjamin Franklin Norris, Jr.  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Born: 1870 in Chicago, Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Born in Chicagoo, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Frank Norris was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1870. His father, Benjamin, was a self-made Chicago businessman and his mother, Gertrude Glorvina Doggett, had a stage career. In 1884 the family moved to San Francisco where Benjamin went into real estate. In 1887, after the death of his brother and a brief stay in London, young Norris went to Académie Julian in Paris where he studied painting for two years and was exposed to the naturalist novels of Emile Zola. Between 1890 and 1894 he attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he picked up the ideas of human evolution of Darwin and Spencer that are reflected in his future writings. His stories appeared in the undergraduate magazine at Berkeley and in the San Francisco Wave. After his parents' divorce he went east and spent a year in the English Department of Harvard University. There he came under the influence of Lewis E. Gates, who encouraged his writing. He worked as a news correspondent in South Africa in 1895-96, and then an editorial assistant on the San Francisco Wave (1896–97). He worked for McClure's Magazine as a war correspondent in Cuba during the Spanish-American war in 1898. He joined the New York City publishing firm of Doubleday & Page in 1899.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library