Gerald Stern Biography | Author of One of the Smallest

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Born on February 22, 1925, Gerald Stern grew up in a rough neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His parents, both Eastern European immigrants, were Orthodox Jews who sent him to a religious school, but he stopped practicing his faith shortly after his bar mitzvah. In childhood, Stern suffered from anti-Semitism; moreover, at age eight, he experienced the traumatic death of his nine-year-old sister Sylvia to spinal meningitis. In 1947, he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and then earned his master’s degree from Columbia University in 1949. Although he began writing poetry in college, Stern taught college English for most of his professional career.

After graduation, Stern went to Paris for a year of travel and study at the Sorbonne, and it was there that he became seriously interested in poetry. Upon his return to New York, he entered a doctoral...

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This section contains 425 words
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Buy the One of the Smallest Study Guide
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