John Steinbeck Top 10 Facts 📝

Known as one of 20th century’s most prolific writers, John Steinbeck is remembered for his strong personality, and a history of lending his voice to the ordinary people.

John Steinbeck

American Author (1902-1968)

Beyond serving as a mouthpiece for society’s minority, there are other interesting facts associated with John Steinbeck which revolve around his writing career, travels, and personal life.

A Cute Romance With Pencil

John Steinbeck’s works are known and have been read by millions of people, but only a few who have read more than his books know about what an interesting love story the prolific writer had with pencils at the time.

On days he felt gingered to write, he would use as many as 100 pencils to pen his words down. Although his preference for pencils was overwhelming, Steinbeck had a specific type that he used, and they are usually long, round, black, and bold.

A Reporter From A War Scene During World War I

During the heat of the Second World War in 1943, Steinbeck was contracted by the New York Herald Tribune to cover the war in Europe, which he subsequently stayed up for several months.

During this period, Steinbeck covered several stories – including those involving a group of United States troops who planted trees in war-torn England to help bring the place back to life.

A Dog Ate The First Few ‘Of Mice and Men’ Chapters

Steinbeck’s dog eating a huge chunk of ‘Of Mice and Men’ manuscript was part of the reasons the book saw a delayed publication. The author loved dogs and kept one close as a pet, but that love wasn’t enough to stop his dog from munching a big part of his masterpiece.

Steinbeck later recounted that he found the incident very upsetting but soon forgave his dog and went on to invest several extra months rewriting the chapters from scratch.

A Fascination For King Arthur’s Tale

Steinbeck spent the majority of his childhood ingrained in the tales and adventures of King Arthur that he ventured into writing one himself, but unfortunately, he never finished the piece before his death in 1968. A few years later, the piece was later completed and published post-mortem.

A Talent Inspired By Salinas Valley

John Steinbeck spent most of his childhood around the Salinas Valley, California, with the area proving to be quite an important aspect that helped inspired his writing career.

Most of Steinbeck’s books, including ‘Of Mice and Men’ are set around the Salinas region in California, with the author even referring to East of Eden as a near-perfect autobiography of the palace.

A Winner Of Nobel Prize

Following the success of ‘The Grapes of Wrath,’ which went on to scupper the Pulitzer Prize in 1940, 22 years later, Steinbeck was honored with a Nobel Prize for his contributions to the global body of literature. Aside from these major accolades, the American writer was also nominated for a total of three Academic Awards between 1944 and 1952.

A One-Time Construction Worker

During the time of finding his true calling, the young Steinbeck took a short stint working for a construction company in New York. While at it, he reported also doubled as a reporter for a fairly reputable print media outlet at the time.

After a while of not finding his true purpose, Steinbeck moved back to California and resigned full-time to his creative writing career.

George and Lennie Became Household Names

After the release of one of Steinbeck’s best books ‘Of Mice and Men,’ the two major characters in the book, George and Lennie, soon became popular with Americans and almost immediately became household names due to the popularity of the book.

A Calling Found At Age 14

Although the bulk of his best works would later come at a much-matured age, by age 14, Steinbeck had already known all he wanted to do for a living was to write.

The writer was a shy kid and most likely didn’t socialize or get out much with his peers, and this made him devote time to himself, and at that tender age, he would often lock himself up for hours writing stories and poems.

More Than Thirty Books Written In His Prime

During his hay day, the prolific American writer wrote more than thirty good books, and that’s not including other great pieces he did as a prodigy.


What book is Steinbeck most popular for?

John Steinbeck is most popular for ‘The Grapes of Wrath,’ arguably the greatest book he ever wrote.

How prolific was John Steinbeck?

During his best days, Steinbeck was very active in his writing career and completed more than thirty books before his death.

What other jobs did Steinbeck embark on aside from writing?

Aside from being a celebrated novelist, Steinbeck initially did other jobs, including serving as a caretaker and working as a construction laborer.

What is considered Steinbeck’s biggest inspiration?

Salinas Valley, California, is considered Steinbeck’s biggest inspiration seeing as he grew up there, loved and got attached to the place, and then went on to use the place as the primary setting for his best books.

Victor Onuorah
About Victor Onuorah
Victor is as much a prolific writer as he is an avid reader. With a degree in Journalism, he goes around scouring literary storehouses and archives; picking up, dusting the dirt off, and leaving clean even the most crooked pieces of literature all with the skill of analysis.
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