Ann Petry
Ann Petry

Celebrity Profile

Name: Ann Petry
Occupation: Novelist
Gender: Female
Birth Day: October 12, 1908
Death Date: Apr 28, 1997 (age 88)
Age: Aged 88
Country: Connecticut
Zodiac Sign: Libra

Social Accounts

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Weight: in kg - N/A
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Ann Petry

Ann Petry was born on October 12, 1908 in Connecticut (88 years old). Ann Petry is a Novelist, zodiac sign: Libra. Find out Ann Petrynet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.


She was the first female African American author to sell a million copies of a book.

Does Ann Petry Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Ann Petry died on Apr 28, 1997 (age 88).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020


Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

She worked in her family's pharmacy business for several years. After moving to New York in the early 1940s, she began to publish newspaper articles and short stories.

Biography Timeline


Petry's desire to become a professional writer was raised first in high school when her English teacher read her essay to the class and commented on it with the words: "I honestly believe that you could be a writer if you wanted to." The decision to become a pharmacist was her family's. After graduating in 1929 from Old Saybrook High School, she went to college and graduated with a Ph.G. degree from the University of Connecticut College of Pharmacy in New Haven in 1931 and worked in the family business for several years, while also writing short stories. On February 22, 1938, she married George D. Petry of New Iberia, Louisiana, and moved to New York. She worked as a journalist writing articles for newspapers including The Amsterdam News (between 1938 and 1941) and The People's Voice (1941–44), and published short stories in The Crisis, where her first story appeared in 1943, Phylon, and other outlets. Between 1944 and 1946 she studied creative writing at Columbia University. She also worked at an after-school program at P.S. 10 in Harlem. It was during this period that she experienced and understood what the majority of the black population of the United States had to go through in their everyday life. Traversing the Harlem streets, living for the first time among large numbers of poor black people, seeing neglected children up close—Petry's early years in New York inevitably made impressions on her and led her to put her experiences to paper. Her daughter Liz explained to The Washington Post'' that "her way of dealing with the problem was to write this book [The Street], which maybe was something that people who had grown up in Harlem couldn’t do."


As Petry wrote in "My Most Humiliating Jim Crow Experience", published in Negro Digest in 1946, there was an incident where a racist decided that they did not want her on a beach. Her father wrote a letter to The Crisis in 1920 or 1921 complaining about a teacher who refused to teach his daughters and his niece. Another teacher humiliated her by making her read the part of Jupiter, the illiterate ex-slave in the Edgar Allan Poe short story "The Gold-Bug".

Petry's first and most popular novel, The Street, was published in 1946 and won the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship with book sales exceeding one million copies. She was featured in a brief All-American News film segment covering her winning the award.


Back in Old Saybrook in 1947, Petry worked on Country Place (1947), The Narrows (1953), other stories, and books for children, but they never achieved the same success as her first book. She drew on her personal experiences of the hurricane in Old Saybrook in Country Place. Although the novel is set in the immediate aftermath of World War II, Petry identified the 1938 New England hurricane as the source for the storm that is at the center of her narrative.


Petry had a strong family foundation with well-traveled uncles, who had many stories to tell her when coming home; her father, who overcame racial obstacles, opened a pharmacy in the small town; and her mother and aunts set a strong example: Petry, interviewed by The Washington Post'' in 1992, says about her tough female family members that "it never occurred to them that there were things they couldn’t do because they were women."


She died in Old Saybrook at the age of 88 on April 28, 1997. She was outlived by her husband George, who died in 2000, and her only daughter, Liz Petry.


In November, 2018, Tayari Jones called for a revival of Petry's acclaim, writing that Petry "is the writer we have been waiting for, hers are the stories we need to fully illuminate the questions of our moment, while also offering a page-turning good time."

Family Life

Ann and her two sisters were born in Old Saybrook, Connecticut to Bertha and Peter Lane. In 1938, she married author George Petry.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Ann Petry is 114 years, 7 months and 25 days old. Ann Petry will celebrate 115th birthday on a Thursday 12th of October 2023. Below we countdown to Ann Petry upcoming birthday.


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