Carl Sandburg

prize winner, 1919 & 1951

Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois, on January 6, 1878, to parents who had emigrated from Sweden. Sandburg left school at the age of thirteen to work odd jobs and help support the family. At age eighteen he served eight months in Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American war. Upon his return Sandburg enrolled at Lombard College, a small school located in his hometown. Four years later, Sandburg started working as a writer for various newspapers, first in Milwaukee, then Chicago. He began publishing poems in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, and soon became recognized as a member of the Chicago literary renaissance, which included Ben Hecht, Theodore Dreiser, Sherwood Anderson, and Edgar Lee Masters. He first received a Pulitzer Prize for his 1918 volume of poems, Cornhuskers. He received another Pulitzer more than 30 years later, in 1951, for his Complete Poems. In the interim, he received yet another Pulitzer for the second part of his six-volume definitive biography of Abraham Lincoln.

excerpted from poetryfoundation.org