John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California in 1902. Attended Stanford University intermittently between 1920 and 1926. Steinbeck did not graduate from Stanford, but instead chose to support himself through manual labor while writing. His experiences among the working classes in California led to his later great descriptions of this class. Steinbeck used some of the places he lived and worked as settings for his stories.
Steinbeck published his first novel; Cup of Gold in 1929, three years later he published The Pastures of Heaven, one year later in 1933 he published To a God Unknown. These three novels were unsuccessful in every aspect of the publishing.
In many of John Steinbeck’s books he attacks the agricultural farm owners. Steinbeck received a lot of acclaim after publishing the novel; Of Mice and Men in 1937. His greatest work, The Grapes of Wrath, won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. After success with The Grapes of Wrath, he traveled to Mexico in order to collect marine life with the freelance biologist Edward F. Ricketts, the two men wrote Sea of Cortez and published it in 1941.
During World War II Steinbeck wrote government propaganda, one of these is the novel The Moon Is Down (1942), a novel of Norwegians under the Nazis. Also during the war he served as a war correspondent. After the war Steinbeck wrote mostly works of entertainment and journalism.
In later times he started writing novel again, but none of these works received the same reputation as his earlier novels. His greatest works were definitely the ones he wrote during the depression in America.
He received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962. And died two years later in New York City.