Kenneth Burke

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Birthday
5, 1897
Birthplace
Pennsylvania
Death Date
Nov 19, 1993 (96)
Birth Sign
Taurus
Birthday
5, 1897
Birthplace
Pennsylvania
Death Date
Nov 19, 1993 (96)

About

Remembered for his highly influential works of literary criticism, this 20th-century writer and literary theorist is perhaps best known for his 1966 work Language as Symbolic Action. His other important works include Dramatism and Development (1972); The Rhetoric of Hitler's "Battle" (1939); and A Grammar of Motives (1945).

Before Fame

Before devoting his life to literary theory, he briefly studied at Ohio University and Columbia University, ultimately dropping out of both institutions.

Trivia

He was the grandfather of the popular American folk singer Harry Chapin (known best for the 1974 hit song "Cat's in the Cradle").

Family Life

His first marriage -- to Lily Mary Batterham -- resulted in a musician daughter named Jeanne Elspeth Chapin Hart; an author daughter named France Burke; and an anthropologist and activist daughter named Eleanor Leacock. His second marriage -- to his late wife's sister, Elizabeth Batterham -- produced sons named Anthony and Michael.

Associated With

He was a friend and high school classmate of fellow American writer and critic Malcolm Cowley.

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