John McPhee Bio, Age, Education, Wife, Career, Networth

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John McPhee Biography

John McPhee, in full John Angus McPhee was born on March 8, 1931 in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. He is an American writer, widely considered one of the pioneers of creative nonfiction.

His writing career began at Time magazine and led to his long association with The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer since 1965.

Also in 1965, he published his first book, A Sense of Where You Are, with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and in the years since, he has written over 30 books, including Oranges, Coming into the Country, The Control of Nature, The Founding Fish, Uncommon Carriers and Silk Parachute.

In 2008, he received the George Polk Career Award for his indelible mark on American journalism during his nearly half century career. McPhee received the Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters in 1977.

Since 1974, McPhee has been the Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University. In 1999, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Annals of the Former World.

John McPhee Age

McPhee who was born on March 8,1931 in Princeton, New Jersey, United States is currently 88 years old as of 2019.

John McPhee Education

He was educated at Princeton High School, then spent a postgraduate year at Deerfield Academy, before graduating from Princeton University in 1953, and spending a year at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge.

John McPhee Wife

McPhee has been married twice first to photographer Pryde Brown, with whom he fathered four daughters Jenny and Martha, who grew up to be novelists like their father, Laura, who grew up to be a photographer like her mother, and Sarah, the outlier who became an architectural historian.

Brown and McPhee divorced in the late 1960s, and McPhee married his second wife, Yolanda Whitman, in 1972. He has lived in Princeton his whole life.

John McPhee Career

From 1957 to 1964, McPhee worked at Time magazine as an associate editor. In 1965 he jumped to The New Yorker as a staff writer, a life-long goal; over the course of the next five decades, the majority of McPhee’s journalism would appear in the pages of that magazine.

He published his first book that year as well; A Sense of Where You Are was an expansion of a magazine profile he’d written about Bill Bradley, professional basketball player and, later, U.S. Senator. This set a life-long pattern of McPhee’s longer works beginning as shorter pieces initially appearing in The New Yorker.

Since 1965, McPhee has published 30 books on a wide variety of subjects, as well as countless articles and standalone essays in magazines and newspapers.

All of his books started off as shorter pieces that appeared or were intended for The New Yorker. His work has covered an incredibly wide range of subject matter. From profiles of individuals to examinations of entire regions to scientific and academic subjects.

Most notably his series of books concerning the geology of the western United States. Which were collected into the single volume Annals of the Former World, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction in 1999.

John McPhee Net Worth

The American writer has an estimated net worth of  $1 Million which he earned from his career as of 2019.

John McPhee Books

  • A sense of where you are: a profile of William Warren Bradley
  • The headmaster: Frank L. Boyden, of Deerfield
  • Oranges
  • The Pine Barrens
  • A roomful of Hovings and other profiles
  • Levels of the game
  • The crofter and the laird
  • Encounters with the archdruid
  • Wimbledon
  • The deltoid pumpkin seed
  • Basin and range
  • La Place de la Concorde Suisse
  • Outcroppings
  • Uncommon carriers
  • Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process
  • The Patch

John McPhee Oranges

McPhee of The New Yorker wrote about oranges in the late 1960s. It’s a story of old style cigar chomping citrus barons, sunburned pickers and new style scientific boffins. The latter’s innovations led to the modern flood of orange concentrate.

McPhee researches, with his characteristic journalistic energy and with great affection, Florida’s two main orange regions: the high-producing Ridge and the high-quality Indian River.

His writing is so vivid that we can smell the ripe oranges, or is it the pulp from the concentrate factories? One wonders what McPhee would make of the recent steep decline in demand for concentrate or of the bacterial plague of “citrus greening” that has decimated Florida’s groves.

Amid McPhee’s delightful delving into the place of the orange in history and folklore is the tale of “mournful Isabella who cuts off the head of her dead lover, buries it in an ample pot, plants sweet basil above it and irrigates the herbs exclusively with rosewater, orange-flower water and her tears.”

John McPhee Awards and Honors

Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards and honors, including:

  1. Pulitzer Prize: In 1999, McPhee won the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction for his book “Annals of the Former World.”
  2. National Book Award: McPhee was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1968 for “The Pine Barrens” and in 1978 for “Coming into the Country.”
  3. Francis Parkman Prize: McPhee won the Francis Parkman Prize in 1971 for “Encounters with the Archdruid.”
  4. National Magazine Award: McPhee has won the National Magazine Award five times for his work in The New Yorker.
  5. PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay: In 2018, McPhee was awarded this prize for his book “Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process.”
  6. Fitzgerald Award for Achievement in American Literature: McPhee received this award from the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival in 2019.

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