John McPhee


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John Angus McPhee (born March 8, 1931) is an American writer. He is considered one of the pioneers of creative nonfiction. He is a four-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in the category of General Nonfiction. He won that award on the fourth occasion in 1999 for Annals of the Former World (a collection of five books, including two of his previous Pulitzer finalists). 

In 2008, he received the George Polk Career Award for his "indelible mark on American journalism during his near half-century career." Since 1974, McPhee has been the Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University. McPhee has lived in Princeton, New Jersey, for most of his life. He was born in Princeton, the son of the Princeton University athletic department's physician, Dr. Harry McPhee. 

He was educated at Princeton High School, then spent a postgraduate year at Deerfield Academy before graduating from Princeton University in 1953 with a senior thesis titled "Skimmer Burns" and spending a year at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge. McPhee was a member of the University Cottage Club while he was a student at Princeton.

While at Princeton, McPhee went to New York once or twice a week to appear as the juvenile panelist on the radio and television quiz program Twenty Questions. One of his roommates at Princeton was 1951 Heisman Trophy winner Dick Kazmaier.

Twice married, McPhee is the father of four daughters from his first marriage to Pryde Brown: the novelist's Jenny McPhee and Martha McPhee, photographer Laura McPhee, and architecture historian Sarah McPhee.

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