Arthur Miller is one of America's greatest playwrights. He is famous for his excellent plays, along with his marriage to actress Marilyn Monroe. Several of his works have been turned into films.


Arthur Miller was born in New York. His father was a shopkeeper who was ruined in the Great Depression. The family moved to a small house in Brooklyn. Arthur Miller spent his childhood playing football, baseball, and reading adventure stories. After graduating from high school in 1932, Miller earned money by working in a car parts warehouse. After reading The Brothers Karamazov, Miller decided to become a writer. He went to the University of Michigan to study journalism. While studying there, he won several awards for play writing.

After graduating in 1938, Miller returned to New York. He joined the Federal Theater Project and wrote scripts for radio. Because of an old football injury, he was exempt from the draft. In 1940, he married his college sweetheart, Mary Slaterry. They had two children.

Miller's first Broadway show was The Man Who Had All the Luck(1944). It only ran for four days. Three years later, he wrote All My Sons, which won the New York Drama Critics Circle award and four Tonys. In 1944, Miller visited army camps to gather information for his 1945 screenplay,The Story of GI Joe. Focus, his first novel, was about anti-Semitism.

In 1949, Miller wrote Death of a Salesman, one of his best known works. In the same year, he won "Outstanding Father of the Year".

In the 1950s, Miller was scrutinized by the government, looking for communist influences in his plays. Because of the subject matter of The Hook, Miller was denied as passport to Brussels to watch the premiere of The Crucible.

The Crucible won the Antoinette Perry Award. Though it's first run on Broadway wasn't a success, it's one of Miller's most produced plays.

In 1955, Miller produced two plays under the collective name The View from the Bridge. It was a response to film maker Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront, where he justifies giving names of other people as Communists.

In 1956, Miller was awarded an honorary degree at the University of Michigan, but he was also called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He admitted attending certain meetings, including writer's meetings sponsored by the Communist party, but denied being a Communist. Refusing to give other people's names, he was cited for contempt of congress, but the decision was reversed in 1958.

Miller married Marilyn Monroe in 1956. They divorced in 1961. Marilyn died a year later.

In the 1990s, Miller wrote The Ride Down Mount Morgan (1991) and The Last Yankee (1993). In 2002, Miller received Spain's Principe de Asturias Prize for Literature, making him the first U.S. citizen to receive it. Miller's last play, Finishing the Picture was produced in 2004. Miller died of heart failure in Roxbury, CT on February 10, 2005.


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