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Edward Albee

From Academic Kids

Edward Franklin Albee III (born March 12, 1928) is a leading American playwright, for many the most important one alive. He was a distinguished professor at the University of Houston from 1989 to 2003.

Edward Albee, photographed by , 1961
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Edward Albee, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1961

He was born in Washington, DC and was adopted two weeks later and taken to Westchester County, New York. Albee's adopted father owned a chain of theatres, where Edward would hang out as a child.

Albee left home when he was in his late teens, later saying in an interview, "They weren't very good at being parents, and I wasn't very good at being a son."

Edward Albee's plays are decidedly unique; one of his main influences has been Samuel Beckett and he is credited with being one of the first American playwrights of the school of thought known as Absurdism. His style is not as surreal as many Absurdists, but Albee's plays reflect the philosophy that life is inherently absurd.

Albee is a member of the Dramatists Guild Council, and President of the Edward F. Albee Foundation, Inc. He received the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1980, and in 1996 the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts.

Albee has received three Pulitzer Prizes for drama — for A Delicate Balance (1966), Seascape (1974), Three Tall Women (1990-91).

Albee received a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2005.

Albee graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania in 1945. He attended Trinity College (Connecticut) for a year and a half before being expelled for skipping classes and refusing to attend compulsory chapel.

His partner, Jonathan Thomas, a sculptor, died on 2 May 2005, the result of a two year long battle with bladder cancer.

Albee is the President of the Edward F. Albee Foundation, Inc. which maintains the William Flanagan Creative Persons Center (a writers and artists colony in Montauk, NY.)

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