Ernest Samuels Photo

Ernest Samuels

Born: May 19, 1903

Death: Feb 12, 1996

Birthplace: Chicago

Profession: Lawyer

Nationality: United States

Ernest Samuels

Date of Birth : May 19, 1903
Date of Death : Feb 12, 1996
Birth Place : Chicago

Ernest Samuels was an American biographer and lawyer. Born in Chicago, he received his J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1926, but switched to literature in 1930, earning a MA in English in 1931. In 1933-1937 he practiced law in Chicago. In 1937 to 1939 he was an English instructor at Washington State University. In 1942 he completed a PhD in English with a dissertation on “The Early Career of Henry Adams” at the University of Chicago, after which he began teaching English at Northwestern University, becoming department chair in 1964 before retiring in 1971. Samuels is best known for his 3-volume biography of Henry Adams, for which he received the Bancroft Prize and the 1965 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography His 2-volume biography of Bernard Berenson is considered the most well-researched and important study of its subject. Samuels died in Evanston, Illinois.


  • Lawyer
  • Author
  • Biographer

Awards Won

  • Guggenheim Fellowship for Humanities, US & Canada
  • Bancroft Prize
  • Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography
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