Upton Sinclair (1878–1968) was born in Baltimore and began writing dime novels to pay his way through the College of the City of New York. While doing graduate work at Columbia University, he wrote six novels, including King Midas (1901), The Journal of Arthur Stirling (1903), and Manassas (1904). His masterwork, The Jungle (1906), aided the passage of pure food laws and won him wide acclaim. Active throughout his life in socialist causes, he invested the money he made from The Jungle in a Utopian experiment, the Helicon Hall Colony in Englewood, New Jersey. In 1915, he moved to California, where he ran unsuccessfully for public office and waged an antipoverty campaign. Among his later works was Dragon’s Teeth (1942), for which he won a Pulitzer Prize.
“When people ask me what has happened in my long lifetime I do not refer them to the newspaper files and to the authorities, but to [Sinclair’s] novels.”—George Bernard Shaw