William DuBois (writer)

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Not to be confused with black scholar W. E. B. Du Bois

William DuBois (November 29, 1903 - March 16, 1997) was an American playwright, novelist and longtime editor of the New York Times Book Review.[1][2]

DuBois was born in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1903, to parents Virginia Markel DuBois and William Henry Thompson DuBois.[1][2] He graduated from Columbia University in 1925 with a degree in journalism and upon graduation went to work at The New York Times in 1926.[1][2] He went on to become an editor for the New York Times Book Review where he wrote reviews and articles. DuBois retired from The Times in 1973.[1]

DuBois wrote a number of Broadway plays including Pagan Lady (1930) and I Loved You Wednesday (1932).[1] DuBois wrote the play Haiti (1938) for the Federal Theater Project which played in Harlem among other places; the play's authorship has often been misattributed to the black scholar W. E. B. Du Bois because of the similarity of names, but he had nothing to do with it, in fact William DuBois was white.[3]

His novels include The Island in the Square (1947), set in New York City in the 1920s; A Season to Beware (1956), about the worlds of journalism and publishing, and The Falcon's Shadow (1958), about the travails of the theater.[1] He also worked as a silent writer with Frank G. Slaughter on 27 of his historical novels.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "William DuBois, 93, Playwright and Editor", New York Times, March 19, 1997
  2. ^ a b c d "Paid Notice: Deaths DUBOIS, WILLIAM", New York Times, March 19, 1997
  3. ^ "Racing the Archive: Will the Real William DuBois Please Stand Up?", Shannon Rose Riley, English Language Notes, 45.1, Spring/Summer 2007