Thornton Wilder

1897 - 1975

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Icon of person Thornton Wilder

Thornton Niven Wilder (April 17, 1897 – December 7, 1975) was an American playwright and novelist. He won three Pulitzer Prizes, for the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and for the plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth, and a U.S. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Thornton Wilder has received more than 1,005,782 page views. His biography is available in 46 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 42 in 2019). Thornton Wilder is the 1,360th most popular writer (up from 1,377th in 2019), the 1,665th most popular biography from United States (up from 1,756th in 2019) and the 150th most popular American Writer.

Memorability Metrics

  • 1.0M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 59.32

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 46

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 4.82

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 4.28

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

The Ides of March
Murder, Fiction, Romans, nouvelles
*The Ides of March*, first published in 1948, is a brilliant epistolary novel set in Julius Caesar's Rome. Thornton Wilder called it "a fantasia on certain events and persons of the last days of the Roman republic." Through vividly imagined letters and documents, Wilder brings to life a dramatic period of world history and one of history's most magnetic, elusive personalities. In this inventive narrative, the Caesar of history becomes Caesar the human being. Wilder also resurrects the controversial figures surrounding Caesar -- Cleopatra, Catullus, Cicero, and others. All Rome comes crowding through these pages -- the Rome of villas and slums, beautiful women and brawling youths, spies and assassins.
Our town
Death, Scripts, Drama
Thornton Wilder contemplates ordinary life events (birth, family life, marriage, and death), mostly through one character, a young woman, Emily Webb, who leads an unexamined life until she encounters death.
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Accident victims, Accidents, American fiction
*The Bridge of San Luis Rey* (1927) tells the story of several unrelated people who happen to be on a bridge in Peru when it collapses, killing them. Philosophically, the book explores the problem of evil, or the question, of why unfortunate events occur to people who seem "innocent" or "undeserving". It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928, and in 1998 it was selected by the editorial board of the American Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of the twentieth century. The book was quoted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair during the memorial service for victims of the September 11 attacks in 2001. Since then its popularity has grown enormously. The book is the progenitor of the modern disaster epic in literature and film-making, where a single disaster intertwines the victims, whose lives are then explored by means of flashbacks to events before the disaster.
The cabala
American Authors, Fiction
Heaven's my destination
Fiction, Depressions, Publishing
Three plays
Drama, Fiction, History


Among writers, Thornton Wilder ranks 1,360 out of 7,302Before him are Jean M. Auel, Robert de Montesquiou, Rudolf Erich Raspe, Daniel Pennac, James Murray, and Wace. After him are Joseph Bédier, Symeon the Metaphrast, Per Olov Enquist, Diana Gabaldon, Ibn al-Nadim, and Joachim Fest.

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Among people born in 1897, Thornton Wilder ranks 71Before him are Benjamin Lee Whorf, Karl Löwith, Hans Baur, Sidney Bechet, Adolf Heusinger, and Mukhtar Auezov. After him are Sepp Herberger, Philippe Soupault, Károly Kerényi, Jean Epstein, Virginia Henderson, and Winifred Wagner. Among people deceased in 1975, Thornton Wilder ranks 46Before him are Ernst Hanfstaengl, François Tombalbaye, Bernard Herrmann, Joseph Bech, P. G. Wodehouse, and Carlo Levi. After him are Rex Stout, Al Lettieri, Guy Mollet, Faisal bin Musaid Al Saud, Marguerite Perey, and Luigi Dallapiccola.

Others Born in 1897

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Others Deceased in 1975

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In United States

Among people born in United States, Thornton Wilder ranks 1,665 out of 20,380Before him are Vera Miles (1929), John Turturro (1957), Jean M. Auel (1936), Frank Zane (1942), Robert J. Shiller (1946), and LeBron James (1984). After him are Cesar Romero (1907), Elmer Bernstein (1922), Josephine Chaplin (1949), Michelle Rodriguez (1978), Diana Gabaldon (1952), and Rubin Carter (1937).

Among WRITERS In United States

Among writers born in United States, Thornton Wilder ranks 150Before him are Eleanor H. Porter (1868), Ken Kesey (1935), Hunter S. Thompson (1937), Anthony Bourdain (1956), Maria Shriver (1955), and Jean M. Auel (1936). After him are Diana Gabaldon (1952), Rex Stout (1886), Robert Wilson (1941), Seymour Hersh (1937), Don DeLillo (1936), and Robin Hobb (1952).