Fannie Hurst (1889 - 1968)
Fannie Hurst (October 18, 1889 - February 23, 1968) was an American novelist. Although her books are not well remembered today, during her lifetime some of her more famous novels were Stardust (1919), Lummox (1923), A President is Born (1927), Back Street (1931), and Imitation of Life (1933). Hurst is now best known for the screen adaptations of her works, such as the 1934 film Imitation of Life and the 1959 remake, based on her novel, which examined race relations. Hurst was born in Hamilton, Ohio, the only surviving child of a well-to-do Jewish family. She spent the first twenty years of her life in St. Louis, Missouri, where she attended Washington University in St. Louis and graduated in 1909. In 1915 she married Jacques S. Danielson of New York, a pianist, but the marriage was not announced until five years later. In 1921, Hurst was among the first to join the Lucy Stone League, an organization that fought for women to preserve their maiden names. She was active in the Urban League, and was appointed to the National Advisory Committee to the Works Progress Administration in 1940. She was also a delegate to the World Health Organization in 1952. When Hurst and Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson were having a long affair, they often met in New York City's Greenwich Village at Romany Marie's café when Stefansson was in town; he was a regular there for many years and a good friend of the proprietor.
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