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American Academy of Arts and Letters

ORGANIZATION

Founded 1904, merged with the National Institute of Arts and Letters (founded 1898) in 1976 as the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Founding Date:
1904

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Chinua Achebe
Novelist
16-Nov-1930   Things Fall Apart
Conrad Aiken
Poet
5-Aug-1889 17-Aug-1973 Earth Triumphant
Charles McLean Andrews
Historian
22-Feb-1863 9-Sep-1943 The Colonial Period of American History
Louis Auchincloss
Author
27-Sep-1917 26-Jan-2010 Portrait in Brownstone
W. H. Auden
Poet
21-Feb-1907 29-Sep-1973 The Age of Anxiety
Irving Babbitt
Philosopher
2-Aug-1865 15-Jul-1933 Early leader of Neohumanism
Milton Babbitt
Composer
10-May-1916 29-Jan-2011 Music for Synthesizer
Jacques Barzun
Historian
30-Nov-1907   From Dawn to Decadence
Eric Bentley
Critic
14-Sep-1916   The Life of the Drama
Elizabeth Bishop
Poet
8-Feb-1911 6-Oct-1979 North & South
Marc Blitzstein
Composer
2-Mar-1905 22-Jan-1964 The Cradle Will Rock
Louise Bogan
Poet
11-Aug-1897 4-Feb-1970 The New Yorker poetry critic
William Bolcom
Composer
26-May-1938   Songs of Innocence and of Experience
Yves Bonnefoy
Poet
24-Jun-1923   Du Mouvement et de l'immobilité de Douve
Jorge Luis Borges
Author
24-Aug-1899 14-Jun-1986 The Garden of Forking Paths
Joseph Brodsky
Poet
24-May-1940 28-Jan-1996 "Social parasite" turned Poet Laureate
Gwendolyn Brooks
Poet
7-Jun-1917 3-Dec-2000 Annie Allen
Van Wyck Brooks
Critic
16-Feb-1886 2-May-1963 Finders & Makers
Robert Brustein
Educator
21-Apr-1927   Founder, American Reportory Theatre
Art Buchwald
Columnist
20-Oct-1925 17-Jan-2007 Syndicated columnist and humorist
William S. Burroughs
Author
5-Feb-1914 2-Aug-1997 Naked Lunch
Frederick Busch
Novelist
1-Aug-1941 23-Feb-2006 Don't Tell Anyone
Nicholas Murray Butler
Educator
2-Apr-1862 7-Dec-1947 President of Columbia University, 1901-45
John Cage
Composer
5-Sep-1912 12-Aug-1992 Experimental composer
Hortense Calisher
Novelist
20-Dec-1911 15-Jan-2009 In the Absence of Angels
Willa Cather
Novelist
7-Dec-1873 24-Apr-1947 O Pioneers!
Chuck Close
Painter
5-Jul-1940   Photo-realist portrait painter, printmaker
Henry Steele Commager
Historian
25-Oct-1902 2-Mar-1998 The American Mind
Luigi Dallapiccola
Composer
3-Feb-1904 19-Feb-1975 Canti di Prigionia
Walter Damrosch
Conductor
30-Jan-1862 22-Dec-1950 Conductor, popularizer of music
Mario Davidovsky
Composer
4-Mar-1934   Synchronisms
Peter De Vries
Novelist
27-Feb-1910 28-Sep-1993 The Tunnel of Love
Anita Desai
Novelist
24-Jun-1937   Cry, the Peacock
Joan Didion
Author
5-Dec-1934   Slouching Toward Bethlehem
E. L. Doctorow
Author
6-Jan-1931   The Book of Daniel
Henry van Dyke
Author
10-Nov-1852 10-Apr-1933 The Unknown Quantity
Umberto Eco
Author
5-Jan-1932   Foucault's Pendulum, The Name of the Rose
Robert Fagles
Translator
11-Sep-1933 26-Mar-2008 Translator of Greek literature
Vivian Fine
Composer
28-Sep-1913 20-Mar-2000 Drama for Orchestra
Lukas Foss
Conductor
15-Aug-1922 1-Feb-2009 Director, Buffalo Philharmonic, 1963-71
Llyn Foulkes
Painter
1935   Assemblage artist
Helen Frankenthaler
Painter
12-Dec-1928 27-Dec-2011 Mountains and Sea
Daniel Chester French
Sculptor
20-Apr-1850 7-Oct-1931 Lincoln Memorial
Brian Friel
Playwright
9-Jan-1929   Dancing at Lughnasa
R. Buckminster Fuller
Architect
12-Jul-1895 1-Jul-1983 Futurist, invented the geodesic dome
Ernest J. Gaines
Novelist
15-Jan-1933   A Lesson Before Dying
John Kenneth Galbraith
Economist
15-Oct-1908 29-Apr-2006 Modern economics renegade
William H. Gass
Novelist
30-Jul-1924   The Tunnel
Cass Gilbert
Architect
24-Nov-1859 17-May-1934 Woolworth Building
Allen Ginsberg
Poet
3-Jun-1926 5-Apr-1997 Howl!
Ellen Glasgow
Novelist
22-Apr-1873 21-Nov-1945 In This Our Life
John Guare
Playwright
5-Feb-1938   Six Degrees of Separation
Charles Gwathmey
Architect
19-Jun-1938 3-Aug-2009 Designed extension to the Guggenheim
Childe Hassam
Painter
17-Oct-1859 27-Aug-1935 American impressionist, one of "The Ten"
John Hay
Government
8-Oct-1838 1-Jul-1905 US Secretary of State, 1898-1905
Shirley Hazzard
Novelist
30-Jan-1931   The Transit of Venus
Lillian Hellman
Playwright
20-Jun-1905 30-Jun-1984 Little Foxes
Richard Hughes
Author
19-Apr-1900 28-Aug-1976 A High Wind in Jamaica
Louis Kahn
Architect
20-Feb-1901 17-Mar-1974 Prominent architect
Leon Kirchner
Composer
24-Jan-1919 17-Sep-2009 Quartet No. 3
Kenneth Koch
Poet
27-Feb-1925 6-Jul-2002 On the Great Atlantic Rainway
Arthur Kopit
Playwright
10-May-1937   Mama's Hung You in the Closet
Joseph Wood Krutch
Naturalist
25-Nov-1893 22-May-1970 The Modern Temper
Stanley Kunitz
Poet
29-Jul-1905 14-May-2006 US Poet Laureate, 2000
John La Farge
Painter
31-Mar-1835 14-Nov-1910 Painter, muralist, stained-glass designer
Maya Lin
Artist
5-Oct-1959   Designed Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Walter Lippmann
Journalist
23-Sep-1889 14-Dec-1974 Today and Tomorrow
Janet Malcolm
Journalist
1934   The Journalist and the Murderer
John Muir
Activist
21-Apr-1838 24-Dec-1914 Patron saint of Yosemite National Park
Albert L. Murray
Author
12-May-1916   Stomping the Blues
Michael Ondaatje
Novelist
12-Sep-1943   The English Patient
Renzo Piano
Architect
14-Sep-1937   Designed the Pompidou Center rehab
Reynolds Price
Author
1-Feb-1933 20-Jan-2011 A Long and Happy Life
Martin Puryear
Sculptor
23-May-1941   Post-minimalist
John Crowe Ransom
Poet
30-Apr-1888 4-Jul-1974 God Without Thunder
Steve Reich
Composer
3-Oct-1936   Minimalist composer, Different Trains
Adrienne Rich
Poet
16-May-1929 27-Mar-2012 An Atlas of the Difficult World
Oliver Sacks
Doctor
9-Jul-1933   Awakenings
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
Historian
15-Oct-1917 28-Feb-2007 The Age of Roosevelt
Sam Shepard
Playwright
5-Nov-1943   Buried Child
Georges Simenon
Novelist
13-Feb-1903 4-Sep-1989 Prolific Belgian-French novelist
Charles Simic
Poet
9-May-1938   The World Doesn't End
Jane Smiley
Novelist
26-Sep-1949   A Thousand Acres
Albert Spalding
Violinist
15-Aug-1888 26-May-1953 American violin virtuoso
Muriel Spark
Novelist
1-Feb-1918 13-Apr-2006 The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
John Steinbeck
Novelist
27-Feb-1902 20-Dec-1968 The Grapes of Wrath
Clyfford Still
Painter
30-Nov-1904 23-Jun-1980 Abstract expressionist
Studs Terkel
Author
16-May-1912 31-Oct-2008 Working
Wayne Thiebaud
Artist
15-Nov-1920   California pop artist
Helen Vendler
Critic
30-Apr-1933   American poetry critic
William Weaver
Translator
24-Jul-1923   Translator from the Italian
Eudora Welty
Author
13-Apr-1909 23-Jul-2001 The Optimist's Daughter
Edmund White
Author
13-Jan-1940   The Joy of Gay Sex
Brand Whitlock
Diplomat
4-Mar-1869 24-May-1934 US Ambassador to Belgium, 1914-21
Robert Wilson
Theater Director
4-Oct-1941   Experimental theater director, designer
Charles Wuorinen
Composer
9-Jun-1938   Time's Encomium


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