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Arthur Miller Biography

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Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller was born October 17, 1915 to Jewish-American parents, Isidore and Augusta Miller. Due to the Wall Street Crash of 1929, Miller's father lost his clothes and coat manufacturing company. Arthur Miller graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1933. His family had no money to send him to college because of the effect of the Great Depression. Miller went on in life having many ups and downs but still prevailed and that is what made him the great play writer he is today.

While attending the University Of Michigan, Miller had numerous jobs to help pay his tuition. He majored in journalism, and became the reporter and night editor of the school paper. Around this time he wrote his first play, No Villain. Miller won his first award for this play. After winning the award, he switched his major to English. In 1937, Arthur Miller wrote Honors at Dawn, for which he won another award. He received his bachelors' degree in English in 1938. Soon after, he joined the Federal Theater Project. Congress worried about communist involvement so they closed the project.

Miller began working in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, while writing radio plays. On August 5th, 1940 Arthur Miller married his college sweetheart, Mary Slattery. They had two children, Jane and Robert. Miller was exempted from the military during World Ward II because of a high school football injury.

Under the fear of being blacklisted from Hollywood, a man named Elia Kazan told The House Un-American Activities he knew eight people, Miller being one of the, from a Group Theatre who have been linked with the Communist Party. Miller spoke to Kazan about his testimony, and then traveled to Salem, Massachusetts to research the Salem witch trials of 1692. He found a comparison between the witch trials and the trials of those accused of communist activity. When he returned home, he began to write the play, The Crucible. The play opened at Beck Theatre on Broadway January 22, 1953. Although the play did not do well on the initial release, today The Crucible is one of Millers most frequently produced plays.

In 1956, Arthur Miller divorced his wife of 16 years and married Marilyn Monroe. The House Un-American Activities Committee subpoenaed Miller to appear before them. Miller asked the committee not to ask him to name names, and the chairman agreed. Miller along with his new wife, Marilyn Monroe, attended

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