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Louis Stanton Auchincloss

Louis Stanton Auchincloss

Male 1917 - 2010  (92 years)

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  • Name Louis Stanton Auchincloss 
    Born 27 Sep 1917  Lawrence, Nassau Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 26 Jan 2010  New York, New York Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Obituary 29 Jan 2010  Boston, Suffolk Co., MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Boston Globe 
    • Louis Auchincloss, novelist who chronicled Eastern elite
      By Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post

      WASHINGTON - Louis Auchincloss, a novelist, essayist, biographer, editor, and lawyer whose literary beat was the decline of the old, upper-class world of power and privilege to which he belonged, died of complications of a stroke Tuesday at Lenox Hill Hospital, near his home in Manhattan. He was 92.

      The author of more than 60 books in a career stretching over seven decades, Mr. Auchincloss was best known for such novels as "The Rector of Justin'' (1964), about the founding headmaster of an elite prep school, and "The Embezzler'' (1966), about an upper-class Wall Street stockbroker who succumbs to temptation during the Great Depression.

      Louis Stanton Auchincloss was born in the Long Island community of Lawrence and grew up on Manhattan's Upper East Side. As a youth, he was put off by his father's arid practice as a corporate lawyer and drawn to his mother's artistic pursuits.

      But the young man did what was expected of him. He entered Yale in 1935, leaving three years later without a degree to attend law school at the University of Virginia. He found the law congenial and, after graduating from Virginia in 1941, returned to New York to work for the white-shoe firm of Sullivan and Cromwell. He interrupted his legal career to serve in the Navy during World War II, rejoining the firm afterward.

      All along, however, Mr. Auchincloss had harbored literary ambitions, writing stories for his prep school magazine and editing the Yale Literary Magazine. In 1947, he published the novel "The Indifferent Children'' under the pseudonym Andrew Lee. The book received favorable reviews, and he began placing stories under his own name in such periodicals as the Atlantic Monthly and the New Yorker.

      In 1951, he resigned from Sullivan and Cromwell to write full time, only to discover that he did not like being cut off from what he called "the real world.'' Three years later, he joined the Wall Street firm of Hawkins, Delafield, and Wood, where he remained until his retirement in 1986. He juggled his two callings by confining legal work to weekdays and writing to weekends.

      The law looms large in Mr. Auchincloss's fiction; among his best books is "Powers of Attorney'' (1963), a collection of related short stories about a Manhattan law firm. The titles of other novels and story collections suggest the boundaries within which Mr. Auchincloss liked to operate: "Portraits in Brownstone,'' "A World of Profit,'' "Tales of Manhattan,'' "Honorable Men,'' "Diary of a Yuppie.''

      His biggest bestseller, "The Rector of Justin,'' takes place in a proving ground for that rarefied world: a New England boys' boarding school, which, as a graduate of the Groton School in Massachusetts, the author knew well. A portrait stitched together from the diaries and observations of multiple observers, "The Rector of Justin'' reaches a climax when the now-retired great man perceives that, despite his best efforts to inculcate high ideals, "snobbishness and materialism were intrinsic in [his school's] makeup.''

      Mr. Auchincloss took issue with a complaint frequently made about him, that in dwelling on characters and conflicts peculiar to the Eastern upper crust, his fiction is parochial. In a 1997 interview, he replied, "If you look through the literature of the ages you will find that 95 percent of it deals with the so-called 'upper class,' from 'The Iliad' and 'The Odyssey' through to Shakespeare with his kings and queens.''

      He wed Adele Lawrence, an artist, in 1957. The marriage lasted until her death in 1991.

      He leaves three sons, John of Weston, Conn., Blake of Hingham, Mass., and Andrew of New York; a brother; and seven grandchildren.

      Mr. Auchincloss received the National Medal of Arts in 2005. But for all his accomplishments, he won no major book awards. Late in life, the prolific author expressed doubts about his impressive rate of production.

      "I think I have a tendency to publish too soon,'' he said, adding that some of his books "could have been quite improved if I'd held them up for a year.''

      © Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company.
    Person ID I70947  Stedman/Steadman/Steedman Families of the New World
    Last Modified 30 Jan 2010 

    Father Joseph Howland Auchincloss,   b. 22 May 1886, New York, New York Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Aug 1968, New York, New York Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Mother Priscilla Dixon Stanton,   b. 10 Sep 1888, New York, New York Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Mar 1972, New York, New York Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years) 
    Married Abt 1909 
    Family ID F26435  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Adele Lawrence,   b. Apr 1931, New York, New York Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Feb 1991, New York, New York Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 59 years) 
    Married 7 Sep 1957  Charlotte, Chittenden Co., VT Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 30 Jan 2010 
    Family ID F26427  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 27 Sep 1917 - Lawrence, Nassau Co., NY Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 7 Sep 1957 - Charlotte, Chittenden Co., VT Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 26 Jan 2010 - New York, New York Co., NY Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsObituary - Boston Globe - 29 Jan 2010 - Boston, Suffolk Co., MA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth