Nathan Bryllion Fagin was born in Russia in 1892, and came to the US as young man. He attended Michigan State Collection, obtained his B.A. from George Washington University in 1923, and his M.A. from there the following year. He received his Ph.D. from Hopkins in 1931. While completing his studies, he worked as a law clerk for the US Department of Agriculture.
After he received his Ph.D., he taught at JHU until he retired. From 1930 to 1957, he was Director of the Johns Hopkins Playshop. He also served as visiting professor at the University of Rochester, and a visiting lecturer in American Studies in Salzburg, Austria.
A specialist in the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Anton Chekhov and Eugene O'Neill, Dr. Fagin wrote numerous books and scholarly articles. Perhaps his best known was "The histrionic Mr. Poe," published in 1949. Among his other books were "Of Love and Other Trifles, (1925), The Phenomenon of Sherwood Anderson (1927), America through the Short story (1936). He died in 1972.