|Name:||Harold Bell Wright|
|Birth Day:||May 4, 1872|
|Death Date:||May 24, 1944 (age 72)|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Harold Bell Wright died on May 24, 1944 (age 72).
He made a living in his teens as an artist and painter of houses. He later attended Hiram College and became a minister in a Disciples of Christ Church in Missouri.
Harold Bell Wright married Frances Long in 1899 and they divorced in 1920. They had three children from this marriage: Gilbert Munger Wright (b. March 17, 1901, d. April 25, 1966), Paul Williams Wright (b. 1902, d. June 3, 1928, from an undetermined illness), and Norman Hall Wright (b. January 8, 1910, d. July 21, 2001). Wright married Winifred Mary Potter Duncan on August 5, 1920 and remained married to her until his death. He also maintained a home in Palm Springs, California.
In 1902, while pastoring the Christian Church in Pittsburg, Kansas, he wrote a melodramatic story, entitled That Printer of Udell's, which he intended to read to his congregation, one chapter per week, at successive Sunday night meetings. But before he read it to his congregation, the story was published in serial form in The Christian Century, his denomination's official journal.
In 1905 Wright accepted the position of pastor at the Christian Church in Lebanon, Missouri. Wright remained there until 1907 when he accepted another pastoral position in California. In that same year, after the success of The Shepherd of the Hills (his first book to sell one million copies), Wright resigned as pastor of the Redlands, California, Christian Church, moved to a ranch near El Centro, California, and devoted the rest of his life to writing popular stories. In 1911, he published his most popular book, The Winning of Barbara Worth, a historical novel set in the Imperial Valley of southeastern California.
Wright despised the magazine version so much that he "hid the poor mutilated corpse in the bottom of the least used drawer of my desk and moved on to other things" (To My Sons, p. 213). Yet parishioners enjoyed the story so much that they encouraged him to publish it in book form, which he did. But it was Wright's second novel, The Shepherd of the Hills, published in 1907 and set in Branson, Missouri, that established him as a best-selling author. That book also attracted a growing stream of tourists to the little-known town of Branson, resulting in its becoming a major tourist destination.
In 1909, pastors across America were incensed by his third book, The Calling of Dan Matthews, which told the story of a young preacher who, like Wright, resigned from the ministry in order to retain his integrity. The story included the town of Corinth, which was obviously that of Lebanon, Missouri. Several townspeople from Lebanon were highly disappointed in the novel and called it disgraceful. In 1910 Alexander Corkey wrote a novel that countered Wright's message.
From 1914 to about 1933 Wright lived mostly in Tucson, Arizona. Wright's land on Tucson's east side became the Harold Bell Wright Estates subdivision and the streets bear names of some of his fictional characters and book titles such as Printer Udell, Barbara Worth, Shepherd Hills, Brian Kent, and Marta Hillgrove. A small city park in the neighborhood is named for him. His home has been restored and is now a private residence.
Wonder Stories panned Wright's only science fiction novel, The Devil's Highway, in 1932, saying "If not for the mawkish sentimentality, and endless moralizing of this book, it might have been an interesting piece of work". Amazing Stories, however, found the novel "a very creditable attempt at combining two almost incompatible conceptions: The psychic and the physical" and concluded that The Devil's Highway "is quite enjoyable, as it is logical and exceedingly well written".
From 1935 until his death in 1944, Wright lived on his "Quiet Hills Farm" in or near Escondido, California. He traveled much, staying for months at a time in primitive camps, vacation homes, hotels or resorts, in such places as Riverside, San Diego, Palm Springs and Benbow, California, Tucson and Prescott, Arizona, Hawaii, and the Barbados. Wright usually lived one or two years in a location before using it as the setting for one of his novels.
Wright struggled most of his life with lung disease. He died of bronchial pneumonia in Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California on May 24, 1944, twenty days after his 72nd birthday, and was buried in the Cathedral Mausoleum, in Greenwood Memorial Park, in San Diego.
In 1945 Frank Luther Mott developed a system to compare top selling books from 1665 (Golden Multitudes, the Story of Bestsellers in the United States). To make comparisons possible, Mott defines a bestseller as a book with sales equal to one percent of the US population.
Owen Wister’s comments are representative: “I doubt if the present hour furnishes any happier symbols [of the quack novel] than we have in Mr. Wright [and The Eyes of the World]. It gathers into its four hundred and sixty pages all the elements ...of the quack-novel. It is,” Wister says, “stale, distorted, a sham, a puddle of words,” and “a mess of mildewed pap.” It was also number one on the Publisher's Weekly bestseller list for 1914. In 1946, Irvin Harlow Hart wrote, "Harold Bell Wright supplied more negative data on the literary quality of the taste of the fiction reading public than any other author. No critic has ever damned Wright with even the faintest praise." (Hundred Leading Authors, p. 287)
Harold was the New York-born son of a former Civil War soldier. Harold married Frances Long-Wright; together, they had three children.
Currently, Harold Bell Wright is 149 years, 0 months and 8 days old. Harold Bell Wright will celebrate 150th birthday on a Wednesday 4th of May 2022. Below we countdown to Harold Bell Wright upcoming birthday.