Dorothy Graffe Van Doren

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Dorothy Graffe Van Doren
Born Dorothy Graffe
(1896-05-02)May 2, 1896
San Francisco, California
Died February 21, 1993(1993-02-21) (aged 96)
Sharon, Connecticut
Spouse(s) Mark Van Doren (1922–1972;
his death)
Children Charles Van Doren (born 1926)
John Van Doren

Dorothy Graffe (May 2, 1896 – February 21, 1993) was an American novelist.

Early life and career[edit]

Graffe was born in San Francisco, California in 1896; however, she grew up in New York.[1] She graduated from Barnard College in 1918.[2]

In 1922 she married Pulitzer Prize-winner Mark Van Doren;[3] she would later detail their relationship in her 1959 novel, The Professor and I.[1] Their eldest son Charles Van Doren became famous after winning the rigged game show Twenty-One.[3] She was played by actress Elizabeth Wilson in the film dramatizing the ensuing scandal, Quiz Show.

She was an editor of the The Nation as well as the head of the English desk at the United States Office of War Information during World War II[1]


  • Strangers. Doran, 1926.
  • Flowering Quince. Doubleday, 1928.
  • Brother and Brother. Doubleday, 1930.
  • Those First Affections. Houghton, 1938.
  • Dacey Hamilton. Harper, 1942.
  • The Country Wife. Sloane, 1950.
  • The Professor and I. Appleton, 1959.
  • Men, Women and Cats. Appleton, 1962.


  1. ^ a b c "Dorothy Van Doren, Author and Editor, 96". New York Times. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "Van Doren Dies at Age 78; Poet Taught Here 39 Years". Columbia Daily Spectator. XCVII (57): 4. 12 December 1972. 
  3. ^ a b Pegels, C. Carl. "Mark van Doren [1894-1972]". New Netherland Institute. New Netherland Institute. Retrieved 26 December 2015.