Eliot is considered one of the most influential poets of the 20th century and a pioneer of literary modernism. His most famous poem, The Waste Land, mentions many cities, but it is St. Louis, his childhood home, that had the greatest impact on him. Born to Marguerite Johnson in St.
Louis in 1888, Thomas Sterns Eliot's legacy was earned thanks to his outstanding and pioneering contribution to contemporary poetry, which earned him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Martha Gellhorn was a daring journalist and war correspondent whose mother was a famous suffragist. She would publish more than 20 books, mostly non-fiction, but also some fiction. Unfortunately, her own achievements are often overshadowed by the fact that she was one of three St. Louis women who married Ernest Hemingway. Kate Chopin was born in St.
Louis in 1869 and met her future husband, Oscar Chopin, during a party at Oakland House. She became famous and infamous for her first feminist novel (189) The Awakening, which showed a married woman having a passionate affair. Although Chopin and her husband moved to Louisiana, where much of her fiction takes place, she returned to St. Louis after his death. Irma Rombauer was born in St.
Louis in 1877 and found in writing a way to help her support herself after her husband committed suicide in 1930. She became famous for her cookbook The Joy of Cooking, which became famous for its conversational style and voice. Fred and Patricia McKissack published more than 100 books for children, mostly about the life and history of African Americans. Because of their profound and groundbreaking work, they are clear candidates for their own star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Maya Angelou was born in St.
Louis in 1928 and became a cultural pioneer, poet, and civil rights activist who wrote about her formative years (including her rape) in her first autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She graduated from Priory School. John Goodman studied theater at Southwest Missouri State before making his mark with distinctive character performances in movies such as True Stories and Raising Arizona. He was born in St. Louis in 1952. Carl Wimar was born in Germany but moved to St.
Louis in 1843. He became enthralled by Native Americans who camped near the city to exchange fur. Vivian Gibson wrote a best-selling memoir about growing up in the 1950s in a segregated St. Louis neighborhood called A Jewel of a Work. Her book is considered a love letter to Gibson's childhood. Allen Eskens grew up in central Missouri before moving to Minnesota for degrees in journalism and law. Kevin Kline won Tony Awards for On the Twentieth Century and The Pirates of Penzance before his lead roles in Sophie's Choice (1988) and The Big Chill(198) made him a Hollywood star. Jonathan Franzen grew up at Webster Groves before becoming one of the most talked about novelists of the last 30 years. Ridley Pearson will be inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame as the twentieth person in its literature category. William Greenleaf Eliot dedicated his life to improving his adopted city when he founded a Unitarian church there in 1834.