James Grover Thurber (1894–1961), essayist, artist, short-story writer, and playwright, is generally considered the greatest American humorist of the twentieth century. Thurber was born in Columbus, Ohio, on 8 December 1894, to Charles and Mary Agnes Fisher Thurber. His mother was a high-strung, theatrical woman who had penchant for practical jokes. His father, a mild-mannered political clerk, was often out of work, and the family frequently depended on handouts from Mrs. Thurber's wealthy parents. Despite financial hardship, Thurber's early boyhood was a happy one, although it was not without challenges. When he was six, Thurber was accidentally shot in the eye with an arrow by his older brother, William. Because his injured eye was not removed promptly, his other eye became inflamed, eventually leading to total blindness when he was at the peak of his career. His injury isolated him from his peers and caused him to withdraw into a fantasy world.Less
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