Irving Stone

Irving Stone

Irving Stone (July 14 1903 San Francisco, CaliforniaAugust 26 1989) was an American writer known for his biographical novels of famous historical personalities.

Some of Stone's important works in this category include:

In 1956, a popular film version was made of Lust for Life, based on Stone's 1934 novel, starring Kirk Douglas as Van Gogh. In 1965, a film was made of The Agony and the Ecstasy, starring Charlton Heston as Michelangelo, and Rex Harrison as Pope Julius II.

Stone's main source for Lust for Life, as noted in the afterword, was Van Gogh's letters to his brother Theo. It seems probable that Eugene Debs' letters to and from his own brother Theo provided a foundation for Adversary in the House. Stone additionally did much of his research "in the field". For example, he spent many years living in Italy while working on The Agony and the Ecstasy. The Italian government lauded Stone with several honorary awards during this period for his cultural achievements highlighting Italian history.

When at home, Stone relied upon the research facilities and expertise made available to him by Esther Euler, head research librarian of the University of California at Los Angeles, to whom he dedicated and thanked, in addition to many others, in several of his works.

In the 1960s, Stone received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Southern California, where he had previously earned a Masters Degree from the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.

Stone enjoyed a long marriage to his wife and editor on many of his works, Jean Stone. The Stones lived primarily in Los Angeles, California. During their lifetime, Stone and his wife funded a foundation to support charitable causes they believed in.


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