Tennessee Williams | Brief Biography


Tennessee Williams | Brief Biography

Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams | Brief Biography

Tennessee Williams (born Thomas Lanier Williams on March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983) was an American playwright and writer who is regarded as one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th century. He was born in Columbus, Mississippi, to Cornelius Coffin Williams and Edwina Dakin Williams, and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri.

Williams’ childhood was marked by great tragedy, as his father was an alcoholic and physically abusive, while his older sister Rose was diagnosed with schizophrenia. These experiences had a profound impact on Williams’ life and would later inform much of his writing.

In 1929, Williams enrolled at the University of Missouri to study journalism, but he dropped out after two years to pursue a career as a writer. He later attended Washington University in St. Louis and then transferred to the University of Iowa, where he earned a degree in English.

Williams’ first play, “Beautiful Thing,” was produced in 1939, and he went on to write several other successful plays, including “The Glass Menagerie” (1944), “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1947), and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1955). These plays, as well as others like “Summer and Smoke” (1948) and “Sweet Bird of Youth” (1959), established Williams as one of the most important American playwrights of his time.

Throughout his life, Williams struggled with depression, alcoholism, and drug addiction, and these struggles often found their way into his writing. He was also openly gay at a time when homosexuality was not widely accepted, and his plays often explored themes of desire, sexual identity, and social outcasts.

Williams was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for “A Streetcar Named Desire” in 1948, and he received several other honors and awards throughout his career, including multiple Tony Awards.

Tennessee Williams died on February 25, 1983, at the age of 71, in a New York City hotel room. The official cause of death was listed as choking on a bottle cap, although there have been rumors of foul play. 0 0 0.


“The Glass Menagerie.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2023.

“A Streetcar Named Desire.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2023.

“Tennessee Williams.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2023.

“Tennessee Williams Biography.” Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2023. ***

N.B. The article originally belongs to the book entitled ‘Biographies of Writers Around the World‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

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  9. Biographies of Writers Around the World ..

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  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period (500 AD-622 AD)
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