Sinclair Lewis

Harry Sinclair Lewis (1885 - 1951)

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Harry Sinclair (Sinclair) Lewis
Born in Sauk Centre, Stearns, Minnesota, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married (to ) in Manhattan, New York Citymap
Husband of — married (to ) in St. Martin, London, Englandmap
Father of and
Died in Rome, Lazio, Italymap
Profile last modified | Created 27 Oct 2009 | Last significant change: 15 Nov 2018
13:33: Nicolas LaPointe edited the Biography for Harry Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951). [Thank Nicolas for this]
This page has been accessed 4,408 times.

Categories: American Authors | Minnesota Notables | American Notables.



Sinclair Lewis is Notable.

Early Life

Harry Sinclair Lewis was born on February 7, 1885 in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.[1] When Lewis was only 6 years old, his mother passed away and his father remarried. Lewis began to read books at a very young age and often kept a dairy next to him. During Lewis's boyhood, he had to go through many harships especially during school. Lewis was tall, thin, and had a lot of acne. Lewis didn't have the looks to impress girls in his school during his childhood. Lewis often ran away from his house and wanted to become a drummer boy for the Spanish-American War.

Early Career in Literature

After Sinclair Lewis gratuated from Yale, Lewis would move from jobs to jobs, searching of something to write for publication and to escape boredom. Although Lewis was influence by Main Street and Social Idealism, which was a study of Idealism and reality in a narrow-minded small-town. Lewis never had mentors in his writing because he would usually get his stories from his past childhood and from his diary but he praised Theodore Dreiser, Willa Cather, Ernest Hemingway. Lewis finally publishes his first book, Hike and the Aeroplane. Then the following year, Lewis married to his first wife named Grace Livingston Hegger, who was an editor at Vogue magazine. Together, they had a son named Wells Lewis. Wells was named after a famous British author H.G. Wells, to whose social ideas influenced Lewis.

Sinclair's Success and Later Life

After writing his first two novels and recieving his M.A in 1908, Lewis moved to Washington D.C. and devoted himself into literature. Lewis also was a member of the Socialist Party for a short time. Many of his books became movie films such as Arrowsmith (1925) and Elmer Gantry (1927), both movies earned many awards. Lewis later divorced his first wife, Grace Livingston Hegger( Lewis divorced Grace in 1925-source: wikipedia) and later married Dorothy Thompson, who was an political newspaper columnist (On May 14, 1928, he married Dorothy Thompson, a political newspaper columnist. and had a son together named Michael Lewis: source,Wikipedia) In the 1920s to the 1930s, Lewis focused on writing short stories and magazines. Lewis eventually won the Noble Prize in Literature in 1930. Lewis died in Rome on January 10, 1951 at the age of 65 from an advance form of alcoholism.


Lewis's legacy lives on. Lewis was very important during this time period because he was the first American to win the Noble Prize award.

Quotes of Sinclair Lewis

"Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless."

"What is love? It is the morning and the evening star."

“He who has seen one cathedral ten times has seen something; he who has seen ten cathedrals once has seen but little; and he who has spent half an hour in each of a hundred cathedrals has seen nothing at all.”

Books by Sinclair Lewis

  • Hike and the Aeroplane (1912)
  • Our Mr. Wrenn (1914)
  • '"Trail of the Hawk, the"' (1915)
  • ""Innocents: A Story for Lovers, the"" (1917)
  • Job, the (1917)
  • Free Air (1919)
  • Main Street (1920)
  • Babbitt (1922)
  • Arrowsmith (1925)
  • Mantrap (1926)
  • Elmer Gantry (1927)
  • Dodsworth (1929)
  • Ann Vickers (1933)
  • Work of Art (1934)
  • It Can't Happen Here (1935)
  • Prodigal Parents, the (1938)
  • Bethel Merriday (1940)
  • Gideon Planish (1943)
  • Cass Timberlane (1945)
  • Kingsblood Royal (1947)
  • God-Seeker, the (1949)
  • World So Wide (1951)


  1. "United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 14 April 2016), Sinclair Lewis, 27 Apr 1942; citing NARA microfilm publication M1936, M1937, M1939, M1951, M1962, M1964, M1986, M2090, and M2097 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (Link: accessed 5 February 2017), Harry S Lewis in household of E J Lewis, Sauk Center city Ward 1-2, Stearns, Minnesota, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 177, sheet 7B, family 112, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,792.

* The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Pedigree Resource File," database, FamilySearch (Link: accessed 2017-02-06), entry for Harry Sinclair /Lewis/. (Offered as supporting material, caution-this is a Pedigree Resource File and has not been verified.)

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No known carriers of Sinclair's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 2
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Sinclair Lewis Image 1

Sinclair Lewis Image 2
Sinclair Lewis Image 2


On 6 Feb 2017 at 23:07 GMT Dorothy (Cook) Coakley wrote:

Transferred PM to Notables but anyone can add to it.

On 6 Feb 2017 at 00:46 GMT Dorothy (Cook) Coakley wrote:

Thanks for catching the, Vincent...removed.

On 6 Feb 2017 at 00:25 GMT Vincent Piazza wrote:

The Social Security Death Index is not for this person. Is it for a son?

On 5 Feb 2017 at 20:49 GMT Vincent Piazza wrote:

I've read that he was named after Upton Sinclair but I don't have a source for that off-hand (I'll look for it). His parents lived in a squat-situation with Upton Sinclair I think in New Jersey.

On 23 Jan 2017 at 22:50 GMT Dorothy (Cook) Coakley wrote:

l agree with Bob Fields, please make this profile public...Sinclair should be categorized as a famous author and notable. Thanks!

On 10 Jan 2015 at 05:46 GMT Bob Fields wrote:

Sinclair Lewis is notable.
Join: Notables Project
Discuss: notables

Please make the biography and tree public so that we can connect him to the rest of WikiTree. Thanks so much. Bob Fields, Notables project leader.

On 30 Oct 2009 at 00:12 GMT jesse quy wrote:



Sinclair is 30 degrees from Sharon Caldwell, 22 degrees from Burl Ives and 24 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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