Laura Z. Hobson

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Laura Z. Hobson
Born Laura Kean Zametkin
(1900-06-19)June 19, 1900
New York City
Died February 28, 1986(1986-02-28) (aged 85)
New York City
Occupation Author
Known for Gentleman's Agreement
Spouse(s) Francis Thayer Hobson (1930—1935)

Laura Z. Hobson (June 19, 1900 – February 28, 1986) was an American novelist best known for her novel, Gentleman's Agreement.

Born Laura Kean Zametkin in New York City, the twin daughter of Jewish socialist immigrants, Michael Zametkin and Adella Kean, she graduated from Cornell University. On July 23, 1930, she married Francis Thayer Hobson, owner of William Morrow and Company. In 1934, she joined the promotional staff of Time, Life, and Fortune.

In 1935, her marriage ended in divorce. In 1937, she became pregnant but made arrangements to make it seem as she had adopted the baby, Michael. In 1941, she did adopt a baby but made it seem as she had given birth to her second son, Christopher.

After 1940 she devoted herself to writing. Her 1943 novel, The Trespassers, depicted refugees' flight from Nazism. On April 27, 1947, her most famous work, Gentleman's Agreement, about a gentile researching antisemitism for a national magazine, reached #1 on The New York Times best-sellers' list and sold over 1.6 million copies. She also wrote First Paper (1966), a fictionalized version of her life with her radical parents, sister and brother. A later novel, Consenting Adult (1975), about a mother dealing with her son's homosexuality, was based on her experience with her son, Christopher. It was adapted as a made-for-TV movie in 1985. She also wrote two volumes of autobiography in the 1980s.

Hobson died on February 28, 1986, in New York City.[1][2]


  • Outlaws Three (as Peter Field) (1933)
  • Dry-Gulch Adams (as Peter Field) (1934)
  • The Trespassers (1943)
  • Gentleman's Agreement (1947)
  • The Other Father (1950)
  • The Celebrity (1951)
  • First Papers (1964)
  • The Tenth Month (1971)
  • Consenting Adult (1975)
  • Over and Above (1979)
  • Untold Millions (1982)


  1. ^ "Wrote 'Gentleman's Agreement' Author Laura Hobson Dies of Cancer at 85". Los Angeles Times. March 2, 1986. Retrieved June 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (March 2, 1986). "Laura Z. Hobson, Author, Dies at 85". The New York Times. Retrieved June 24, 2008. Laura Z. Hobson, the author of the acclaimed 1947 novel on anti-Semitism in America, Gentleman's Agreement, died of cancer at New York Hospital Friday night. She was 85 years old and had lived in New York almost all her life. A zesty woman who grappled with painful, suppressed subjects ... 

Further reading[edit]

  • Giffuni, Cathe. "Laura Z. Hobson: A Bibliography," Bulletin of Bibliography, Vol. 45 No. 4 December 1988, pp. 261–270.

External links[edit]