John Mason Brown
July 3, 1900|
|Died||March 16, 1969
New York, New York
|Notable works||"Seeing Things" column|
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, he graduated from Harvard College in 1923. He worked for the New York Evening Post from 1929 to 1941. He served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy during World War II, beginning in 1942. His book, To All Hands, documents his activities aboard the USS Ancon (AGC-4) during Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily.
Upon his return, his "Seeing Things" column appeared in The Saturday Review starting in 1944 until his death in New York City. In a 1948 radio broadcast, Brown attacked comic books as "the marijuana of the nursery; the bane of the bassinet; the horror of the house; the curse of the kids; and a threat to the future." (These charges were echoed during this period by other public figures like Sterling North, J. Edgar Hoover, and most notably Dr. Fredric Wertham, until Congressional hearings led to the mid-1950s self-censorship and rapid shrinkage of the comics industry.)
Brown resigned from the Pulitzer Prize drama jury in 1963 when the advisory board rejected his recommendation, and that of theater historian John Gassner, that the prize go to Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
- 45th Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Mounted Infantry, the regiment Brown's father commanded during the American Civil War
- Van Gelder, Lawrence (March 17, 1969). "John Mason Brown, Critic, Dead." New York Times
- Thompson, Maggie. "April 21, 1954: Mr. Gaines Goes to Washington," "The 1900s: 10 biggest events from 100 years in comics," CBGXtra.com (Dec. 12, 2005).[dead link]
- Van Gelder, Lawrence, "John Mason Brown, Critic, Dead"; The New York Times, March 17, 1969
- The New York Times, March 3, 1981 - 26 Elected to the Theater Hall of Fame
- Brown, Preston (July 1939). "John Mason Brown, 1837-1890". Filson Club Historical Quarterly 13 (3). Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- John Mason Brown at the Internet Movie Database
- John Mason Brown Papers (MS Am 1948-1948.1). Houghton Library, Harvard University.
- John Mason Brown Additional Papers, 1933-1984 (MS Am 2096). Houghton Library, Harvard University.
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