Lloyd C. Douglas

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Lloyd C. Douglas
Born(1877-08-27)August 27, 1877
DiedFebruary 13, 1951(1951-02-13) (aged 73)
Los Angeles, California
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery
Alma materWittenberg College
OccupationMinister, author
Notable workThe Robe, The Big Fisherman, Magnificent Obsession
SpouseBessie L Porch
ChildrenBessie L. Douglas, Virginia V Douglas

Lloyd Cassel Douglas (August 27, 1877 – February 13, 1951) was an American minister and author.

Douglas was one of the most popular American authors of his time, although he did not write his first novel until he was 50.


He was born in Columbia City, Indiana, spending part of his boyhood in Monroeville, Indiana, Wilmot, Indiana and Florence, Kentucky, where his father, Alexander Jackson Douglas, was pastor of the Hopeful Lutheran Church. According to the 1910 Census Douglas was listed as a Lutheran clergyman. He was married to Bessie I. Porch. They had two children: Bessie J. Douglas, 4 at the time and Virginia V Douglas, 2 at the time.

After receiving the A.M. degree from Wittenberg College (now Wittenberg University) in Springfield, Ohio, in 1903, Douglas was ordained in the Lutheran ministry. He served in pastorates in North Manchester, Indiana, Lancaster, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. From 1911 to 1915, he was director of religious work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The next six years, he was minister of The First Congregational Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from there moving to Akron, Ohio, and serving as the Sr. Minister of the First Congregational Church of Akron from 1920 to 1926, then to Los Angeles, California, and finally to St. James United Church in Montreal, Quebec, from which pulpit he retired to write. His biographer, Louis Sheaffer, comments, "he never stated publicly why he changed denominations."

His first novel, Magnificent Obsession, published in 1929, was an immediate success. Critics held that his type of fiction was in the tradition of the great religious writings of an earlier generation, such as Ben-Hur and Quo Vadis.[citation needed] Magnificent Obsession was adapted for the screen twice, first in 1935 in a film starring Robert Taylor and Irene Dunne, and in 1954, with Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman.

Douglas then wrote Forgive Us Our Trespasses; Precious Jeopardy; Green Light; White Banners; Disputed Passage; Invitation To Live; Doctor Hudson's Secret Journal; The Robe, and The Big Fisherman, In 1937, Green Light was made into a film starring Errol Flynn. White Banners, starring Claude Raines and Fay Bainter, came to the screen in 1938. The film of Disputed Passage was released in 1939. Dr. Hudson's Secret Journal , a prequel to The Magnificent Obsession, aired on syndicated television in 1955-1957. John Howard starred as Dr. Wayne Hudson in 78 episodes.

The Robe sold more than 2 million copies, without any reprint edition. Douglas sold the motion picture rights to The Robe, though the film, starring Richard Burton, was not released until 1953, after Douglas's death.

His own unhappy experience of filming prompted Douglas, when he produced The Big Fisherman as the sequel to The Robe, to stipulate that The Big Fisherman would be his last novel and that he would not permit it to be made into a motion picture, used over the radio, condensed, or serialised.[citation needed] Eventually, The Big Fisherman was filmed in 1959, starring Howard Keel in one of his few non-singing screen roles as Peter.

His last book was the autobiographical Time To Remember which described his life up to his childhood and education for the ministry. He died before he was able to write the intended second volume, but the task was completed in The Shape of Sunday by his daughters, Virginia Douglas Dawson and Betty Douglas Wilson.

Douglas died in Los Angeles, California. He is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.[1]


  • The Fate Of The Limited, (1919)
  • Wanted – A Congregation, (1920)
  • An Affair Of The Heart, (1922)
  • The Minister's Everyday Life, (1924)
  • These Sayings Of Mine: An Interpretation Of The Teachings Of Jesus, (1926)
  • Those Disturbing Miracles, (1927)
  • Magnificent Obsession, (1929)
  • Forgive Us Our Trespasses, (1932)
  • Precious Jeopardy: A Christmas Story, (1933)
  • The College Student Facing A Muddled World, (1933)
  • Green Light, (1935)
  • White Banners, (1936)
  • Home For Christmas, (1937)
  • Disputed Passage, (1939)
  • Dr Hudson's Secret Journal, (1939)
  • Invitation To Live, (1940)
  • The Robe, (1942)
  • The Big Fisherman, (1948)
  • A Time To Remember, (1951)
  • The Living Faith: Selected Sermons, (1955)



  1. ^ "Lloyd Cassel Douglas". Find a Grave. October 23, 1999.
  2. ^ "Author – Rev, Doya Cassel Douglas". Author and Book Info.

Further reading[edit]

  • Douglas, Lloyd C (1951), Time to Remember, Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  • Dawson, VD; Wilson, BD (1952), The Shape of Sunday: An Intimate Biography of Lloyd C Douglas (by his daughters).
  • Lentz, H Max (1902), A History of the Lutheran Churches in Boone County, Kentucky, together with Sketches of the Pastors Who Have Served Them, York, PA: Anstadt & Sons, pp. 80–83.
  • Sheaffer, Louis (1929). "Lloyd Cassel Douglas". Dictionary of American Biography. Science. Vol. 70. pp. 181–182 (Supplement 5). Bibcode:1929Sci....70..121P. doi:10.1126/science.70.1805.121..

External links[edit]