William Manchester Biography, Life, Interesting Facts


William Manchester

Birthday :

April 1, 1922

Died On :

June 1, 2004

Also Known For :


Birth Place :

Attleboro, Massachusetts, United States of America

Zodiac Sign :


Childhood and Early Life

American journalist, writer, biographer, and historian William Manchester on the 1 April 1922 in Attleboro, Massachusetts. He was raised in Springfield, Massachusetts.



After graduating from Classical High School, Springfield; William Manchester enrolled at the University of Massachusetts where he studied for two years before joining the U.S. Marines.

During World War II, he saw service in the Pacific, was injured(1945) and was discharged with the rank of sergeant. He eventually graduated from the University of Massachusetts (1946). He then did an MA with the University of Missouri (1947)  His thesis was published as Disturber of the Peace: The Life of H.L. Mencken in 1951.


Rise to Fame

William Manchester was given a position on the Baltimore Son by H.L. Mencken, and he remained a working journalist until 1955. He was then invited to work at Wesleyan University, Connecticut which had a tradition of employing talented writers. He was appointed the editor for Wesleyan University as well as the Wesleyan University Press. For 1959-1960, he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies at Wesleyan. In addition to writer-in-residence, he was an adjunct professor of history and adjunct professor emeritus.


Literary Career

William Manchester published a number of novels: The City of Anger (1953), Shadow of the Monsoon (1956), Beard of the Lion (1959) and The Long Gainer (1961). His non-fiction work included A Rockefeller Family Portrait (1959), Portrait of a President, John F. Kennedy in Profile (1964). The Death of a President: November 20-25 (1967), The Arms of Krupp: The Rise and Fall of the Industrial Dynasty that Armed Germany at War (1968), The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America 1943-1972 (1974), American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964 (1978).

Later works include One Brief Shining Moment: Remembering Kennedy (1983), A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance -Portrait of an Age (1992) and Magallan (1994). He also produced many essays and a memoir Goodbye Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War (2002). Manchester was working the third volume of his Churchill biography, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm 1840-1865 when he had a stroke and was unable to complete the book. Paul Reid subsequently finished it.


Awards and Achievements

During World War II, William Manchester earned the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, and two Purple Hearts. He also won the Abraham Lincoln Literary Award and was presented with the National Humanities Medal.


Personal Life

William Manchester was married to Julia Brown Marshall (m. 1948), and they had a son and two daughters. William Manchester died on the 1 June 2004.

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