John Monk Saunders

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John Monk Saunders
Born (1897-11-22)November 22, 1897
Hinckley, Minnesota, U.S.
Died March 11, 1940(1940-03-11) (aged 42)
Fort Myers, Florida, U.S.
Cause of death Suicide
Nationality American
Education University of Washington in Seattle
Occupation Novelist, screenwriter, film director
Spouse(s) Avis Hughes
(m. 1922; div. 1927)

Fay Wray
(m. 1928; div. 1939)
Children 1
Awards Academy Award for Best Story (1930)

John Monk Saunders (November 22, 1897 – March 11, 1940) was an American novelist, screenwriter, and film director.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Hinckley, Minnesota, Saunders received his education at University of Washington in Seattle and then was a Rhodes Scholar. He later served in the Air Service during World War I as a flight instructor in Florida, but was never able to secure a posting to France, a disappointment that frustrated him for the remainder of his life.

His screenwriting credits include Wings (1927), The Legion of the Condemned (1928), The Last Flight (1931) which he adapted from his own novel Single Lady, and the documentary film Conquest of the Air (UK, 1936), which he also co-directed.

On May 16, 1929, Wings (1927), became the first film to ever win an Academy Award for Best Picture. He won an Oscar for Best Story for the writing of The Dawn Patrol (1930).[1]

Personal life[edit]

Saunders was married to Avis Hughes (1922–27) and to actress Fay Wray (1928–39), with whom he had a daughter, Susan.


After battling poor health, Saunders hanged himself at his Fort Myers, Florida, home in March 1940.[citation needed] [2]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Academy Awards Database". Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  2. ^ "Google newspapers". 

External links[edit]