John Cheever was born May 27, 1912 in Quincy, Massachusetts. He was expelled from Thayer Academy at the age of seventeen, and thereafter made his living as a writer until he died. He took pride in the fact that he never received a regular paycheck in his life.
Cheever sold his first story, "Expelled", to "The New Republic" at the age of eighteen. He sent the 1930s living in New York writing and publishing his short stories as he developed his distinctive writing style. In 1941 he married Mary Winternitz and soon after that World War II began. Cheever joined the Army but was assigned stateside due to his writing skills. In 1943 the Cheevers' daughter Susan was born, followed in 1948 by a son Benjamin and in 1956 by another son Federico.
In 1943 Cheever's first book of collected short stories was published, "The Way Some People Live." The Cheevers moved to Scarborough, New York in the early 1950s. In 1958 he published his first novel "The Wapshot Chronicle" which won the National Book Award. The other awards he received were a Guggenheim, the Pulitzer Prize for Literature and a National Book Award.
John Cheever had a prolific and distinguished writing career despite a long bout of alcoholism and problems with depression. He interacted with some of the great writers of his time, such a Saul Bellow and John Updike.He died from cancer on June 18, 1982.