Philip Van Doren Stern





Philip Van Doren Stern


Born
in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, , The United States
September 10, 1900

Died
July 31, 1984

Genre


Philip Van Doren Stern was an American author, editor, and Civil War historian whose story "The Greatest Gift," published in 1943, inspired the classic Christmas film It's a Wonderful Life (1946).

Philip Van Doren Stern was born in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania into a family of humble means. His Pennsylvania-born father was a traveling merchant of Bavarian descent, who came to Wyalusing from West Virginia with his New Jersey-born wife. Stern grew up in Brooklyn, New York and New Jersey, and graduated from Rutgers University.

After graduating from Rutgers in 1924, Philip Van Doren Stern worked in advertising before switching to a career as a designer and editor in publishing.

He was a historian and author of some 40 books and editor most known for hi
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Average rating: 4.19 · 1,974 ratings · 191 reviews · 39 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Greatest Gift: The Orig...

4.05 avg rating — 320 ratings — published 1943 — 14 editions
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Secret Missions of the Civi...

3.47 avg rating — 77 ratings — published 1959 — 8 editions
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A Pocket Book of Modern Ame...

3.50 avg rating — 24 ratings — published 1955 — 7 editions
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The Man Who Killed Lincoln

3.53 avg rating — 15 ratings — published 1947 — 3 editions
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Strange Beasts and Unnatura...

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4.58 avg rating — 12 ratings — published 1968 — 2 editions
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The Confederate Navy: A Pic...

4.10 avg rating — 10 ratings — published 1962 — 2 editions
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The Moonlight Traveler: Gre...

4.07 avg rating — 14 ratings — published 1943 — 2 editions
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Soldier Life in the Union a...

4.38 avg rating — 8 ratings — published 1961 — 2 editions
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Great Ghost Stories

4.17 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 1964
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Robert E. Lee, the Man and ...

3.88 avg rating — 8 ratings — published 1963 — 2 editions
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More books by Philip Van Doren Stern…
“The idea came to me complete from start to finish – a most unusual occurrence, as any writer will tell you, for ordinarily a story has to be struggled with, changed around and mixed up.”
Philip Van Doren Stern

“In the early summer of 1846 he moved his family to a cottage in Fordham, which was then far out in the country. He was ill and Virginia was dying, so that he was in no condition to do much work. As a result, their meagre income vanished; when winter game they even lacked money to buy fuel. A friend who visited the cottage wrote a description of Virginia's plight:

There was no clothing on the bed... but a snow white spread and sheets. The weather was cold, and the sick lady had the dreadful chills that accompany the hectic fever of consumption. She lay on the straw bed, wrapped in her husband's great-coat, with a large tortoise-shell cat on her bosom. The wonderful cat seemed conscious of her great usefulness. The coat and the cat were the sufferer's only means of warmth...


A public appeal for funds was made in the newspapers -- an act which Poe, of course, resented. But Virginia was beyond all human aid. She died on January 30, 1847, and her death marked the end of the sanest period in her husband's life. He plunged into the writing of a book-length mystical and pseudo-scientific work entitled Eureka, in which he set forth his theories of the universe. He intended it as a prose poem, and as such is should be judged, rather than as a scientific explanation of matters beyond it's author's ken.”
Philip Van Doren Stern, The Portable Poe

“I want to live again. I want to live again. I want to live again.
Please God, let me live again.”
Philip Van Doren Stern, It's a Wonderful Life

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