A BRIEF CHRONOLOGY OF ARTHUR MILLER'S LIFE AND WORKS

[This chronology has been compiled and crosschecked against a number of sources, however, a special acknowledgement should be made to the thorough "Literary Chronology" and appendices printed in The Theater Essays of Arthur Miller, eds. Robert A. Martin and Steven R. Centola.]

1915 Arthur Asher Miller was born on October 17th in New York City; family lives at 45 West 110th Street.

1920-28 Attends Public School #24 in Harlem.

1923  Sees first play--a melodrama at the Schubert Theater.

1928  Bar-mitzvah at the Avenue M temple.   Father's business struggling and family move to Brooklyn.  Attends James Madison HIgh School.

1930  Reassigned to the newly built Abraham Lincoln High School.  Plays on football team.

1931  Delivery boy for local bakery before school, and works for father's business over summer vacation.

1933  Graduates from Abraham Lincoln High School. Registers for night school at City College, but quits after two weeks.

1933-34  Clerked in an auto-parts warehouse, where he was the only Jew employed and had his first real, personal experiences of American anti-semitism.

1934  Enters University of Michigan in the Fall to study journalism. Reporter and night editor on student paper, The Michigan Daily.

1936 Writes No Villain in six days and receives Hopwood Award in Drama. Transfers to an English major.

1937 Takes playwrighting class with Professor Kenneth T. Rowe. Rewrite of No Villain, titled, They Too Arise, receives a major award from the Bureau of New Plays and is produced in Ann Arbor and Detroit. Honors at Dawn receives Hopwood Award in Drama. Drives Ralph Neaphus East to join the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain during their Civil War, and decides not to go with him.

1938 The Great Disobedience receives second place in the Hopwood contest. They Too Arise is revised and titled The Grass Still Grows for anticipated production in New York City (never materializes). Graduates with a B.A. in English.  Joins the Federal Theater Project in New York City to write radio plays and scripts, having turned down a much better paying offer to work as a scriptwriter for Twentieth Century Fox, in Hollywood.

1939 Writes Listen My Children, and You're Next with Norman Rosten.  Federal Theater is shut down and has to go on relief.  William Ireland's Confession airs on Colimbia Workshop.

1940 Travels to North Carolina to collect dialect speech for the folk division of the Library of Congress.  Marries Mary Grace Slattery. Writes The Golden Years. Meets Clifford Odets in a second-hand bookstore.   The Pussycat and the Plumber Who Was a Man, a radio play airs on Columbia Workshop (CBS)

1941 Takes extra job working nightshift as a shipfitter's helper at the Brooklyn Naval Yard. Writes other radio plays, Joel Chandler Harris, and Captain Paul.

1942 Writes radio plays The Battle of the Ovens, Thunder fron the Mountains, I Was Married in Bataan, Toward a Farther Star, The Eagle's Nest, and The Four Freedoms.

1943 Writes The Half-Bridge, and one-act, That They May Win, produced in New York City. Writes Listen for the Sound of Wings (radio play).

1944 Daughter, Jane, is born. Writes radio plays Bernadine, I Love You, Grandpa and t he Statue, and The Phillipines Never Surrendered. Adapts Ferenc Molnar's The Guardsman and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice for the radio. Having toured army camps to research for The Story of G.I. Joe (a film for which he wrote the initial draft screenplay, but later withdrew from project when he saw they would not let him write it his way), he publishes book about experience, Situation Normal. The Man Who Had All The Luck premiers on Broadway but closes after six performances (including 2 previews), though receives the Theater Guild National Award.

1945 Focus (novel) published. Writes Listen for the Sound of Wings (radio play). Writes "Should Ezra Pound Be Shot?" for New Masses (article).

1946 Adapts George Abbott's and John C. Holm's Three Men on a Horse for radio.

1947 All My Sons premiers and receives the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, and the Donaldson Award. Son, Robert, is born. Writes The Story of Gus (radio play). Writes "Subsidized Theatre" for The New York Times (article). Goes to work for a short time in an inner city factory assembling beer boxes for minimum wage to stay in touch with his audience. Gives first interview to John K. Hutchens, for The New York Times. Explores the Red Hook area and tries to get into the world of the longshoremen there, and find out about Pete Panto, whose story would form the nucleus of his screenplay The Hook.  Buys farmhouse in Roxbury Connecticut as a vacation home, and 31 Grace Court in the city.

1948 Built himself the small Connecticut studio in which he wrote Death of a Salesman. Trip to Europe with Vinny Longhi where got sense of the Italian background he would use for the Carbones and their relatives, also met some Jewish deathcamp survivors held captive in a post-war tangle of bureaucracy.

1949 Death of a Salesman premiers and receives the Pulitzer Prize, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Antoinette Perry Award, the Donaldson Award, and the Theater Club Award, among others. New York Times publishes "Tragedy and the Common Man" (essay). Attends the pro-Soviet Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel to chair an arts panel with Odets and Dmitri Shostakovich.

1950 Adaption of Henrik Ibsen'sAn Enemy of the People premiers. The Hook fails to reach production due to pressure from HUAC. First sound recording of Death of a Salesman.

1951  Meets Marilyn Monroe for the first time.  Yiddish production of Death of a Salesman, translated by Joseph Buloff. First film production of Death of a Salesman, with Frederic March, for Columbia Pictures. Inge Morath comes to America.

1952 Visits the Historical Society "Witch Museum" in Salem, to research for The Crucible.

1953 The Crucible premiers and receives the Antoinette Perry Award, and the Donaldson Award. Tried his hand at directing, a production of All My Sons for the Arden, Delaware, summer theatre.

1954 Asked to attend the Belgian premier of The Crucible, but unable to attend as denied passport by the US.  First radio production of Death of a Salesman, on NBC.

1955 The one-act A View From the Bridge premiers in a joint bill with A Memory of Two Mondays. HUAC pressured city officials to withdraw permission for Miller to make a film he'd been planning about New York juvenile delinquency.

1956 Lives in Nevada for six weeks in order to divorce Mary Slattery and gets the material for The Misfits. Marries Marilyn Monroe. Subpoenaed to appear before HUAC. Receives honorary Doctor of Human Letters (L.H.D.) from the University of Michigan. Goes to England with Monroe and meets Laurence Olivier. Revises A View From the Bridge into two acts for Peter Brook to produce in London, England.

1957 Arthur Miller's Collected Plays published. Convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to name names to the House Un-American Activities Committee. Short story "The Misfits" is published in Esquire. First television production of Death of a Salesman, on ITA, England.

1958 United States Court of Appeals overturns his contempt conviction. Elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

1959 Receives the Gold Medal for Drama from the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

1961 Divorces Marilyn Monroe. Misfits (film) premiers. Recorded The Crucible: An Opera in Four Acts by Robert Ward and Bernard Stambler. Sidney Lumet directs a movie version of View From a Bridge. Mother, Augusta Miller dies.

1962 Marries Inge Morath. Marilyn Monroe dies.  

1963 Daughter, Rebecca, is born. Jane's Blanket (children's book) published.

1964 After visiting the Mauthausen death camp with Inge, covered the Nazi trials in Frankfurt, Germany for the New York Herald Tribune. After the Fall and Incident at Vichy premier.

1965 Elected president of International P.E.N., the international literary organization, and went to Yugoslavian conference. Ulu Grosbard's Off-Broadway production of A View from the Bridge.

1966 First sound recording of A View From the Bridge. Father, Isidore Miller dies.

1967 I Don't Need You Anymore (short stories) published. Sound recording of Incident at Vichy. Television production of The Crucible, on CBS. Visited Moscow to persuade Soviet writers to join P.E.N.  Son Daniel born.

1968 The Price premiers. Attends the Democratic National Convention in Chicago as the delegate from Roxbury. Sound recording of After the Fall.

1969 In Russia published (reportage with photographs by Inge Morath). Visited Czechoslovakia to show support for writers there and briefly met Václav Havel. Retired as President of P.E.N.

1970 One acts Fame and The Reason Why produced, the latter also filmed on his estate. Miller's works are banned in the Soviet Union as a result of his work to free dissident writers.

1971 Sound recording of An Enemy of the People. Television productions of A Memory of Two Mondays, on PBS and The Price, on NBC. The Portable Arthur Miller is published.

1972 The Creation of the World and Other Business premiers. Attends the Democratic National Convention in Miami as a delegate. First sound recording of The Crucible.

1973 Television production of Incident at Vichy, on PBS.

1974 Up From Paradise (musical version of The Creation of the World and Other Business ) premiers at the University of Michigan. Television production of After the Fall, on NBC.

1977 In the Country published (reportage with Inge Morath). Miller petitions the Czech government to halt arrests of dissident writers. The Archbishop's Ceiling premiers in Washington, D.C.

1978 The Theater Essays of Arthur Miller, edited by Robert A. Martin published. Fame (film) appears on NBC. Belgian National Theatre does 25th anniversary production of The Crucible, and this time Miller can attend.

1979 Chinese Encounters published (reportage with Inge Morath).

1980 Playing for Time (film) appears on CBS. The American Clock premiers at the Spoleto Festical in South Carolina, then opens later in New York City. TV film Arthur Miller on Home Ground ahown on PBS.

1981 The second volume of Arthur Miller's Collected Plays published.

1982 One acts Elegy for a Lady and Some Kind of Love Story are produced under the title 2 by A.M. in Connecticut.

1983 Directs Death of a Salesman at the People's Art Theater in Beijing, the People's Republic of China.

1984 Salesman in Beijing is published. Elegy and Some Kind are published under the new title Two-Way Mirror. Miller receives Kennedy Center Honors for his lifetime achievement.

1985 Death of a Salesman with Dustin Hoffman airs on CBS to an audience of 25 million. Miller goes to Turkey with Harold Pinter for International PEN. A delegate at a meeting of Soviet and American writers in Vilnius, Lithuania, where tried to persuade the Soviets to stop persecuting writers.

1986 I Think About You a Great Deal is published (monologue). One of fifteen writers and scientists invited to the Soviet Union to conference with Mikhail Gorbachov and discuss Soviet policies. British production of The Archbishop's Ceiling, with a restored script.

1987 One acts I Can't Remember Anything and Clara are produced under the titleDanger: Memory! Publishes Timebends: A Life (autobiography), which appeared as a Book -of the-Month Club popular selection. University of East Anglia names its centre for American studies, the Arthur Miller Centre. The Golden Years is premiered on BBC Radio. Television production of All My Sons, on PBS.

1990 Everybody Wins, a film based on Some Kind, is released. Television production of An Enemy of the People, on PBS.

1991 The one-act The Last Yankee is produced. The Ride Down Mt. Morgan is premiered in London, England. Receives Mellon Bank Award for lifetime achievement in the humanities. Television production of Clara, and an interview on A&E. South Bank Show television special on Miller.

1992 Homely Girl is published (novella).

1993 Expanded version of The Last Yankee premiers. Television production of The American Clock, on TNT.

1994 Broken Glass premiers. Interviewed on The Charley Rose Show, PBS.

1995 Receives William Inge Festival Award for distinguished achievement in American theater. Tributes to the playwright on the occasion of his eightieth birthday are held in England and America. Homely Girl, A Life and Other Stories is published (novella and short stories).

1996 Receives the Edward Albee Last Frontier Playwright Award. Revised and expanded book of Theater Essays, edited by Steven R. Centola is published.

1997 Revised version of The Ride Down Mt. Morgan is given its American Premier in Williamstown, MA. The Crucible (film with Daniel Day Lewis) opens. BBC television production of Broken Glass.

1998 Mr. Peter's Connections premiers. Major revival of A View From the Bridge wins two Tony Awards.  Is named as the Distinguished Inaugural Senior Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin. Revised version of The Ride Down Mt. Morgan appears on Broadway.

1999 Death of a Salesman revived on Broadway for the play's 50th anniversary, and wins Tony for Best Revival of a Play.

2000 The Ride Down Mount Morgan appears again on Broadway, also a revival of The Price.  There are major 85th birthday celebrations for Miller held at University of Michigan and at the Arthur Miller Center at UEA, England.  Echoes Down the Corridor is published (collected essays from 1944-2000).

2001 Untitled, a previously unpublished one act written for Vaclav Havel appears in New York.  Williamstown Theater Festival revives The Man Who Had All the Luck. Focus, a film based on the book, is released.  Miller is awarded a NEH Fellowship and the John H. Finley Award for Exemplary Service to New York City. On Politics and the Art of Acting is published (essay).

2002  New York City revivals of The Man Who Had All the Luck and  The Crucible. Inge Morath dies. Premier of  Resurrection Blues.  Awarded the International Spanish Award: Premio PrÌncipe de Asturias de las Letras

2003  Awarded the Jerusalem Prize.  Brother, Kermit Miller dies on October 17th.

2004  New York City revival of After the Fall.  Premier of Finishing the Picture.

2005  Miller dies of heart failure in his Connecticut home on 10th February.  Memorial Services held in Roxbury and NY.

Arthur Miller died with the same dignity by which he had always lived, at his home in Connecticut on February 10th, at the age of 89, and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him or his work.  A great writer, a staunch humanitarian, and vital human being, his biggest legacy is his writing, and he has thankfully left us with a great wealth.  It will be the society's privilege to continue to promote and study this national treasure. The following obituary was printed in the New York Times on 2/14/05:

The Arthur Miller Society
recognizes the artistry, moral authority,
and human solidarity of our mentor.
We thank Arthur Miller because
you leave us our name and social mission

 

Home | Society | Newsletter | Life | Works | Events | Links

Last updated: 13 January 2013