US Stamps

Born April 24: Robert Penn Warren

Apr 23, 2016, 11 PM
American author Robert Penn Warren was honored on this 37¢ stamp in the Literary Arts series.

By Michael Baadke

Author and poet Robert Penn Warren was born April 24, 1905, in Guthrie, Ky. At age 16 he entered Vanderbilt University, graduating summa cum laude in 1925. He continued his studies at the University of California Berkeley, earning his M.A. degree in 1927, and then studied at Yale before attending Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and receiving his Bachelor of Letters in 1930.

Warren taught at several different schools, including Vanderbilt, Yale, and Louisiana State University.

His early writings included essays and reference works. His first novel, Night Rider, was published in 1939, followed by At Heaven’s Gate in 1943.

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His most famous novel was All the King’s Men from 1946, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize the following year. A film version in 1949 won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Warren also published 16 poetry collections, earning two more Pulitzer Prizes, in 1957 and in 1979.

The 37¢ stamp honoring Warren (Scott 3904) was issued April 22, 2005, in association with events celebrating the writer’s birth centenary. The stamp design includes a portrait by Will Wilson and a scene recalling All the King’s Men. The stamp was the 21st in the Literary Arts commemorative series.