Sandburg, Carl

Sandburg, Carl (1878 - 1967)


Carl Sandburg's parents were Swedish immigrants who settled in Galesburg, Illinois, where he was born. After a time of manual labour, Sandburg spent four years (without obtaining a degree) at its Lombard College and went on to a career in journalism in Chicago as associate editor of System and editorial writer for the Daily News. He published eight volumes of poems--his Chicago poems quickly made him a popular bard in the tradition of Walt Whitman--and many children's stories, but his major achievement is the classic six-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln (1926, 1939). He was made a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for this work and won the Pulitzer Prize for the biography in 1940. He married Lillian Steichen, sister of photographer Edward Steichen, and settled down in Harbert, Michigan. Their love letters are edited by Margaret Sandburg (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987; PS 3537 A618 Z875 Robarts Library); and Herbert Mitgang made a more general selection in 1968 (PS 3537 A618Z53 Robarts Library). The standard edition of his collected poems came out in 1970 from Harcourt, Brace (PS 3537 A618 1970 Robarts Library). Penelope Niven has written his biography (New York: Scribner's, 1991; PS 3537 A618 Z785 Robarts Library).

Given Name
Carl August
Family Name
Birth Date
January 6, 1878
Death Date
July 22, 1967
  • Lombard College

  • Journalist

  • Biographer

Literary Period
Literary Movement