E.L. DOCTOROW Biography - Writers


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Edgar Lawrence Doctorow (born January 6, 1931, New York, New York) is the author   
of several critically acclaimed novels that blend history and social criticism.   
Although he had written books for years, it was not until the publication of The   
Book of Daniel in 1971 that he obtained acclaim. His next book, Ragtime, was a     
commercial and critical success. As of 2006, he held the Glucksman Chair in       
American Letters at New York University. Doctorow's personal papers are held by   
the Fales Library at NYU.                                                         
Doctorow was raised in the Bronx, New York, by parents of second-generation       
Russian Jewish descent. At the Bronx High School of Science, he excelled in art   
making. Doctorow was a voracious reader and continued his education at Kenyon     
College where he studied with John Crowe Ransom. After graduating with honors in   
1952, he did graduate work at Columbia University before he was drafted into the   
army and assigned to Germany. He began his career as a reader at Columbia         
Pictures, moved on to become an editor for New American Library in the early       
1960s and worked as chief editor at Dial Press from 1964 to 1969.                 
He delivered a commencement address critical of President George W. Bush at       
Hofstra University on May 23, 2004.