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A.J. Cronin
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Author
    (July 19, 1896-January 6, 1981)
    Born in Cardross, Scotland, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Archibald Joseph Cronin
    Physician turned author
    Appointed Medical Inspector of Mines for Great Britain (1924)
    Wrote the novels 'Hatter's Castle' (1931), 'The Stars Look Down' (1935), 'The Citadel' (1937), 'The Keys of the Kingdom' (1941), 'The Spanish Gardener' (1950), 'The Judas Tree' (1961), 'A Song of Sixpence' (1964) and 'A Pocketful of Rye' (1969)
    When his family pressured him to become either a minister or a doctor, he decided medicine was 'the lesser of two evils.'
    He began writing when he developed a duodenal ulcer and was ordered to take six months of rest in the country.
    When Nazi Germany banned the publication of British books during WWII, they made an exception for several of Cronin's titles, apparently feeling that they painted a bleak enough picture of life in Britain to serve as propaganda.
    He was a surgeon for the Royal Navy during World War I.
    The New York Times wrote that he was 'uncannily like Dickens' in his ability to incorporate social commentary into his stories.
    In a 1939 Gallup poll asking people which books had most influenced them, 'The Citadel' finished second only to The Bible.
    His call for free public health care in 'The Citadel' was said to have contributed to the Labour Party's 1945 victory and subsequent establishment of the National Health Service.
    He and May Gibson were married for 59 years.

Credit: C. Fishel


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