A. E. Hotchner

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A. E. Hotchner
Born Aaron Edward Hotchner
(1917-06-28) June 28, 1917 (age 99)
St. Louis, Missouri
Nationality American
Education Washington University (A.B.), (J.D.)
Occupation Writer
Spouse(s) Geraldine Mavor (1949-1969; her death)[1]
Ursula Robbins (1970-1995; divorced)[2]
Virginia Kiser (m. 2003)[3][4]

Aaron Edward "A. E." Hotchner (born June 28, 1917) is an American editor, novelist, playwright, and biographer.[5]

Early life[edit]

Hotchner was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Sally (née Rossman), a Sunday school administrator, and Samuel Hotchner, a jeweler.[4] He attended Soldan High School. In 1940, he graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with degrees in both history (A.B.) and law (J.D.).[6] He was admitted to the Missouri State Bar in 1941, and briefly practiced law in St. Louis in 1941–42. After the outbreak of World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a journalist, attaining the rank of major. When the war was over, he decided to forgo law and pursue a career in writing.[4]

Literary career[edit]

Hotchner has been an editor, biographer, novelist and playwright. In 1948, he met Ernest Hemingway, and the two were close friends until Hemingway's death in 1961. Hotchner is perhaps best known for Papa Hemingway, his 1966 biography of Hemingway, whose work he had also adapted for plays and television.

Hotchner's play Sweet Prince was produced Off-Broadway in 1982, at the Theater Off-Park, starring Keir Dullea and Ian Abercrombie.[7]

The 1993 film, King of the Hill, directed by Steven Soderbergh, is a screen adaptation of Hotchner's 1973 autobiographical novel of the same name. A Depression-era, bildungsroman memoir, it tells the story of a boy struggling to survive on his own in a hotel in St. Louis after his mother is committed to a sanatorium with tuberculosis. His father, a German immigrant and traveling salesman working for the Hamilton Watch Company, is off on long trips from which the boy cannot be certain he will return.

Personal life and philanthropy[edit]

In 1982, with his friend and neighbor, actor Paul Newman, Hotchner founded Newman's Own, Inc. All profits from this successful line of food products and other ventures are donated to charities.[6]

In 1988, Hotchner and Newman also co-founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a residential summer camp and year-round center for seriously ill children located in Ashford, Connecticut. The original camp was later expanded to become a number of other Hole in the Wall Camps at other locations in the U.S., Ireland, France, and Israel. The camps serve 13,000 children every year, free of charge.[6][8]

Hotchner has been honored with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.[9]

Hotchner resides in Westport, Connecticut, with his wife Virginia Kiser, where he spends most weekends, and cares for an African gray parrot, and a flock of peacocks and chickens.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

In Criminal Minds, Aaron Hotchner of the BAU is named after him.

Partial bibliography[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]



  1. ^ "Author's Wife Dies at 51 in New York", The Calgary Herald, Jan. 9, 1969.[1] Accessed 2015-07-14
  2. ^ Rosenberg, Joyce M. - "A.E. Hotchner: From Hemingway to Newman's Own Salad Dressing", Associated Press, Mar. 17, 1988.[2] Accessed 2015-07-14
  3. ^ a b Buckley, Cara - "And the Parrot Said, ‘Bonjour’", The New York Times, May 28, 2010.[3] Accessed 2015-07-14
  4. ^ a b c Encyclopedia.com - Contemporary Authors, A.E. Hotchner.[4] Accessed 2015-07-14
  5. ^ "A.E. Hotchner" HarperCollins website. Accessed February 21, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c Caine, Susan Wooleyhan (Summer 2008) 'A Multi-Storied Life' WUSTL Magazine. Accessed February 22, 2013.
  7. ^ Rich, Frank - "Hotchner's 'Sweet Prince'", New York Times, September 25, 1982.[5] Accessed 2015-07-14
  8. ^ Lawson, Carol (September 9, 1997) Style CHRONICLE The New York Times Accessed February 21, 2013.
  9. ^ St. Louis Walk of Fame. "St. Louis Walk of Fame Inductees". stlouiswalkoffame.org. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 

External links[edit]