Biography of Carl Sandburg

Biography of Carl Sandburg
Photo credit: Elizabeth Buehrmann

Biography of Carl Sandburg


Carl Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois, on January 6, 1878. His dad and mom, August and Clara Johnson had emigrated to America from the north of Sweden. After encountering a number of August Johnsons in his job for the railroad, Sandburg’s father renamed the household.

The Sandburgs have been very poor; Carl left faculty on the age of 13 to work odd jobs, from laying bricks to dishwashing, to assist help his household. At seventeen, he traveled west to Kansas as a hobo.


Lomard school: Biography of Carl Sandburg

He then served eight months in Puerto Rico throughout the Spanish-American battle. Whereas serving, Sandburg met a pupil at Lombard School, the small faculty situated in Sandburg’s hometown. The younger man satisfied Sandburg to enroll in Lombard after his return from the battle.

Sandburg labored his method by faculty, the place he attracted the eye of Professor Philip Inexperienced Wright, who not solely inspired Sandburg’s writing, however, paid for the publication of his first quantity of poetry, a pamphlet referred to as Reckless Ecstasy (1904). Whereas Sandburg attended Lombard for 4 years, he by no means acquired a diploma (he would later obtain honorary levels from Lombard, Knox School, and Northwestern College).

After faculty, Sandburg moved to Milwaukee, the place he labored as a promoting author and a newspaper reporter. Whereas there, he met and married Lillian Steichen (whom he referred to as Paula), sister of the photographer Edward Steichen.


A Socialist sympathizer at that time in his life, Sandburg then labored for the Social-Democrat Social gathering in Wisconsin and later acted as secretary to the primary Socialist mayor of Milwaukee from 1910 to 1912.

The Sandburgs quickly moved to Chicago, the place Carl grew to become an editorial author for the Chicago Day by day Information. Harriet Monroe had simply began Poetry: A Journal of Verse, and commenced publishing Sandburg’s poems, encouraging him to proceed writing within the free-verse, Whitman-like fashion he had cultivated in faculty. Monroe preferred the poems’ homely speech, which distinguished Sandburg from his predecessors.

Ben Hecht Thedore: Biography of Carl Sandburg

It was throughout this era that Sandburg was acknowledged as a member of the Chicago literary renaissance, which included Ben Hecht, Theodore Dreiser, Sherwood Anderson, and Edgar Lee Masters.

He established his fame with Chicago Poems (1916), after which Cornhuskers (1918), for which he acquired the Pulitzer Prize in 1919. Quickly after the publication of those volumes, Sandburg wrote Smoke and Metal (1920), his first extended try to search out the magnificence in trendy industrialism. With these three volumes, Sandburg grew to become recognized for his free verse poems that portrayed industrial America.

Legacy of President Lincoln: Biography of Carl Sandburg

Within the twenties, he began a few of his most bold initiatives, together with his examination of Abraham Lincoln. From childhood, Sandburg beloved and admired the legacy of President Lincoln. For thirty years he sought out and picked up materials, and regularly started the writing of the six-volume definitive biography of the previous president.

The twenties additionally noticed Sandburg’s collections of American folklore, the ballads in The American Songbag and The New American Songbag (1950), and books for youngsters. These later volumes contained items collected from temporary excursions throughout America which Sandburg took every year, enjoying his banjo or guitar, singing folk-songs, and reciting poems.

American Poet: Biography of Carl Sandburg

Within the Nineteen Thirties, Sandburg continued his celebration of America with Mary Lincoln, Spouse and Widow (1932), The Folks, Sure (1936), and the second a part of his Lincoln biography, Abraham Lincoln: The Warfare Years (1939), for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He acquired a second Pulitzer Prize for his Full Poems in 1950. His closing volumes of verse have been Harvest Poems, 1910-1960 (1960) and Honey and Salt (1963). Carl Sandburg died on July 22, 1967.

Sandburg was inducted to the American Poets’ Corner on the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York in 2018.