William Rose Benét

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William Rose Benét

Birthdate: (64)
Birthplace: Ft. Hamilton, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States
Death: May 4, 1950 (64)
New York, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Col. James Walker Benét and Frances Neill Benét
Husband of Theresa Thomson; Elinor Wylie and Marjorie Flack
Ex-husband of Private
Father of James Walker Benét; Private and Private
Brother of Laura Benét and Stephen Vincent Benét

Occupation: Poet, editor, essayist
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About William Rose Benét

William Rose Benét was an American poet, writer, and editor. He was the older brother of Stephen Vincent Benét.

He was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Col. James Walker Benét and his wife, Frances Neill (née Rose), and grandson of Brigadier General Stephen Vincent Benét. He was educated The Albany Academy in Albany, NY and at Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University, graduating with a Ph.B. in 1907. At Yale, he edited and contributed light verse to campus humor magazine The Yale Record. He began the Saturday Review of Literature in 1924 and continued to edit and write for it until his death.

In 1942, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his book of autobiographical verse, The Dust Which Is God (1941). His brother Stephen Vincent Benét was awarded the same prize two years later in 1944.

Benét is also the author of The Reader's Encyclopedia, a standard American guide to world literature.

Today he is perhaps best known as the author of "The Skater of Ghost Lake," a poem frequently assigned in American schools for its use of onomatopoeia and rhythm as well as its tone of dark mystery.[citation needed]

Benét married four times. First, on September 3, 1912, he married Teresa France Thomson, with whom he had three children (James Walker Benét (1914-2012), Frances Rosemary Benét, and Kathleen Anne Benét). Teresa died in 1919. Benét's second wife, whom he married on October 5, 1923, was poet Elinor Wylie. She died in 1928. Benét's third wife, whom he married on March 15, 1932, was Lora Baxter. They divorced in 1937. Benét's fourth wife, and widow, was children's writer Marjorie Flack. They were married from June 22, 1941, until his death in 1950.

Benét's son, James Walker Benét, fought in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and was the author of two suspense novels and a guidebook to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Works; Merchants of Cathay (1913) The Great White Wall: A Poem (1916) Perpetual Light: A Memorial (1919) Moons of Grandeur: A Book of Poems (1920) Dry Points: Studies in Black and White (1921) The Flying King of Kurio: A Story of Children (1926) Wild Goslings: A Selection of Fugitive Pieces (1927) Starry Harness (1933) Pocket University: Guide to Daily Reading (1934) Golden Fleece: A Collection of Poems and Ballads Old and New (1935) Great Poems of the English Language (1936) Mad Blake: A Poem (1937) Day of Deliverance: A Book of Poems in Wartime (1940) The Dust Which is God: A Novel in Verse (1941) The Stairway of Surprise: Poems (1947) Timothy's Angels, Verse (1947) The Spirit of the Scene (1951) The First Person Singular (1971) The Prose and Poetry of Elinor Wylie (1974)

William Rose Benét  was the brother of the poet and novelist Stephen Vincent Benét and the husband of the American poet Elinor Wylie. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and educated at Yale University. He founded the The Saturday Review of Literature in 1924 and was an editor and columnist for the magazine until his death. His works include Merchants from Cathay (1913), Moons of Grandeur (1920), With Wings as Eagles (1940), and The Dust Which Is God (1941), which received the 1942 Pulitzer Prize for poetry. 


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William Rose Benét's Timeline

February 2, 1886
Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States
Age 27
New York, New York, New York, United States
May 4, 1950
Age 64
New York, New York, United States