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James Thurber

James Grover Thurber, (December 8, 1894 - November 2, 1961) USA Humorist and cartoonist. Thurber was born in Columbus, Ohio, and died in New York City, New York.

Thurber was best known for his contributions (both single-panel cartoons and short stories) to The New Yorker magazine; he was on the staff of the magazine from 1927 into the 1930s, and continued to contribute to the magazine into the 1950s. Many of his short stories are humorous fictional memoirs from his life, but he also wrote darker material.

Thurber suffered from very poor eyesight due to a childhood injury. His eyes grew weaker as he grew older. He drew his cartoons on very large sheets of paper using a thick black crayon, giving them an eerie, wobbly feel that seems to suit their contents.

For those interested in trying his work, the two short stories "The dog who bit people" and "The night the bed fell on father" are among his best. They can be found in My Life and Hard Times. Also notable, and often anthologized, are "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", "The Greatest Man In The World" and "If Grant Had Been Drinking at Appomattox", which can be found in The Thurber Carnival.

A network television show based on Thurber's writings and life, entitled My World and Welcome To It was broadcast 1969 to 1970.

Biographies of Thurber include Remember Laughter: A Life of James Thurber by Neil A. Grauer, and James Thurber: His Life and Times by Harrison Kinney.


  • "Humour is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility."
  • "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
  • "You can fool too many of the people too much of the time."


  • Fables for Our Times
  • The Last Flower
  • Is Sex Necessary? (with E. B. White)
  • Let Your Mind Alone!
  • My World and Welcome To It
  • My Life and Hard Times
  • Wonderful O
  • The 13 Clocks
  • The Owl in the Attic and other Perplexities
  • The Seal in the Bedroom
  • Men, Women, and Dogs
  • The Middle Aged Man on the Flying Trapeeze
  • Thurber Country
  • The Thurber Carnival (selected works)
  • (others)

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