Edward Streeter (August 1, 1891 in Buffalo, New York – March 31, 1976 in New York City) was an American novelist and journalist, best known for the 1949 novel Father of the Bride and his Dere Mable series.
Streeter began his career as a reporter for the Buffalo newspaper the Buffalo Express as a war correspondent and travel writer. He grew in notoriety with his "Dere Mable" letters, a humorous column from an illiterate soldier writing home. Serialized between 1917 and 1919 in the 27th (NY) Division's magazine "Gas Attack", they were inspired by Streeter's time spent on an army base (Camp Wadsworth, near Spartansburg SC) during World War I. The humorous letters were compiled in 1919 in Streeter's full-length books Dere Mable and Thats me all over, Mable.
After returning home from the war, Streeter pursued writing casually, deciding to focus on his work as a businessman. For eight years he served as assistant vice president, before transitioning to the Fifth Avenue Bank in New York City, (later, The Bank of New York) where he served as vice president for twenty-five years.
While serving as VP of the bank, Streeter published short stories and articles in magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post and McCall's. In 1938, he published his first novel, Daily Except Sundays. In 1944 he was elected to The Century Association, and remained a member for 32 years. He waited another five years, however, before publishing his next novel. Published in 1949, the comic satire Father of the Bride became an instant bestseller and was listed among The New York Times list of bestselling novels for the year. The following year, it was adapted into a successful film starring Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor.
After his breakthrough success, Streeter continued to write successful novels. Of the most notable of his subsequent works are Mr. Hobbs' Vacation (1954, filmed in 1962), Merry Christmas, Mr. Baxter (1956), Mr. Robbins Rides Again (1958), and Chairman of the Bored (1961). He finished his writing career with 1969's grim semi-autobiographical Ham Martin, Class of '17.
In all of his novels, Streeter showed remarkable perception into human nature, and a wonderfully erudite dry wit. If there is a basic theme to his main characters, it is that they are usually men who feel put-upon, but eventually realize that they are taking themselves much too seriously (Father of the Bride, Merry Christmas Mr. Baxter, and Mr. Hobbs' Vacation are typical examples.)
Streeter died on March 31, 1976.
- Dere Mable (1918)
- Thats me all over, Mable (1919)
- Daily Except Sunday (1938)
- Father of the Bride (1949)
- Skoal Scandinavia (1952)
- Mr. Hobbs' Vacation (1954)
- Merry Christmas Mr. Baxter (1956)
- Mr. Robbins Rides Again (1957)
- Window on America (1957)
- Chairman of the Bored (1961)
- Along the Ridge (1964)
- Ham Martin, Class of '17 (1969)
- Works by Edward Streeter at Project Gutenberg
- Guide to The Edward Streeter Papers in the Fales Library of NYU