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Betty Smith Biography

This Study Guide consists of approximately 13 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
This section contains 462 words
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Elisabeth (Betty) Smith was born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 15, 1896, to a family of German immigrants. Smith's father, John Wehner, died when she was still a child, and her mother, Catherine Hummel Wehner, later married an Irish immigrant, Michael Keogh. Smith's early life was shaped by poverty, and the immigrant experience she describes in many of her works has strong roots in her own life.

She left school after the eighth grade to help support her family, working in factories, offices, and department stores.

Smith loved stories and derived her greatest pleasure from reading books or acting in plays at the Williamsburg YMCA.

In 1924 she married George Smith and with him later moved to Michigan, where she studied literature and he studied law at the University of Michigan. Upon completion of her husband's law degree, Smith moved with him and their two daughters first...

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This section contains 462 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Short Guide
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