How Did John Updike Die – (1932 – 2009)

Date of Birth March 18, 1932  
Date Of Death January 27, 2009
Age 76 Years 
Death Cause  Lung Cancer 

John Hoyer Updike, born on March 18, 1932, and passing away on January 27, 2009, was a prominent American author known for his contributions to literature. He was an accomplished novelist, poet, and short-story writer, as well as an art and literary critic. He died of lung cancer at the age of 76, which was very unfortunate. Because American writing will never be the same without Updike’s many works.

Distinguished as one of the select few authors to achieve the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Fiction multiple times, a league shared only with literary luminaries such as Booth Tarkington, William Faulkner, and Colson Whitehead, John Updike established a remarkable legacy in the world of literature. 

Creativity is merely a plus name for regular activity. Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better! (John Updike).

Over the course of his illustrious career, he crafted an extensive repertoire that included over twenty captivating novels, and more than a dozen collections of thought-provoking short stories, in addition to his noteworthy contributions as a poet, art and literary critic, and author of children’s books. Let’s find out how this American writer died!

Early Years And The Born Talent From God

John Updike, a talented American author, was born and raised in Reading, which is located in the state of Pennsylvania. Updike entered the realm of literature after being motivated to do so by the writing of his mother Linda Grace. He achieved scholastic success, graduating from Shillington High School as a co-valedictorian and serving as the president of his class. As a result, he was awarded a full scholarship to Harvard College. 

During his time at Harvard, he distinguished himself by being one of the most active contributors to The Harvard Lampoon. He went on to graduate with honours. After graduating, he spent some time studying art at the University of Oxford before beginning a fruitful writing career in New York, where he finally became a regular contributor to The New Yorker. He subsequently moved to New York City.

A narrative is like a room on whose walls a number of false doors have been painted; while within the narrative, we have many apparent choices of exit, but when the author leads us to one particular door, we know it is the right one because it opens! (John Updike).

The Writing Career Of John Updike

Despite the fact that he is most recognised for his link with The New Yorker, a connection that had a significant role in the development of his literary career. Even after his departure from the magazine’s employment, Updike remained a frequent contributor throughout his life. He maintained his writing focus on American domestic life from a male perspective. A major portion of his short stories was published by The New Yorker. Updike authored numerous novels, short stories, poetry, and critical essays during his illustrious career. 

His significant works include “Too Far To Go,” reflecting themes of marriage and alcohol in 1970s America, and the well-known “Couples,” which generated a national debate on changing sexual mores. He gained further recognition with the publication of the Rabbit Angstrom tetralogy, a four-novel series, and “The Witches of Eastwick,” which was later adapted into a film. 

A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people’s patience! (John Updike).

Updike’s experimentation with different genres, such as historical fiction, science fiction, and postmodernism, showcased his versatility as a writer. His monumental contribution to American literature was honoured with awards like the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award.

John Updike’s Complex Personal Life

The several marriages that John Updike was involved in contributed to the complexity of his personal life. He wed Mary Entwistle Pennington in 1953 when he was still enrolled at Harvard, and the couple went on to have four children together. Their union was not devoid of difficulties, as Updike’s unfaithfulness ultimately resulted in the dissolution of their marriage in the year 1974. 

After that, in 1977, Updike wed Martha Ruggles Bernhard, and the pair resided in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, together for over 30 years. Updike’s personal life was frequently complicated by the fact that he was chronically unfaithful, which had a huge influence on the lives of people who were close to him.

Existence is like a gun, you know. I am what I am. And there’s nothing else, nothing, that I can do to make me what I am not! (John Updike).

The Unfortunate Passing Of John Updike

The death of John Updike took place on January 27, 2009, when he was 76 years old. His passing was determined to have been caused by lung cancer, and he passed away after spending his final days in a hospice in Danvers, Massachusetts. Throughout his whole life, Updike was recognised as one of the most influential authors of his era. He left behind a substantial literary legacy that continues to have an effect on readers and continues to capture their attention. 

I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket! (John Updike).

His participation with The New Yorker and his dedication to his work revealed the immense passion he had for his craft. This excitement shone through despite the fact that his dedication occasionally cost him his own personal happiness and the connections he had. His involvement with The New Yorker and his dedication to his art demonstrated the tremendous passion he had for his profession. The dying of this author signified the end of a chapter in the literary history of the United States.

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