Thyra Samter Winslow (1893–1961)

Author of The Old Lady [short story]

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Thyra Samter was born to a Jewish-American family in Fort Smith, where her father operated a dry-goods store. She attended public school and the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She moved to Chicago in 1909, taking jobs as a chorus girl, actor, and dancer in vaudeville theatre -- experiences she later used in her screenplay Show Business (1926). She eventually became a journalist for the Chicago Tribune, and began publishing stories and articles for newspapers and magazines such as The Smart Set and American Mercury. In 1912, she married John Seymour Winslow, a writer, and the couple moved to New York City. They divorced in 1927, and Thyra married Nelson Waldorf Hyde, an engineer. Thyra Samter Winslow's writing career blossomed in the 1930s when her stories were published in The New Yorker, and she won acclaim from critics. In 1937, Thyra Samter Winslow and her second husband divorced, and she began working as a screenwriter with Columbia, RKO, and later with Warner Brothers and NBC. In 1937, she returned to New York and continued writing for popular women’s magazines. She also wrote diet books, including Think Yourself Thin (1951). Frequent themes in her fiction were the urge to assimilate and achieve success in modern American life, and the emotional dilemmas accompanying this quest. During her final illness, she converted to the Roman Catholic faith.
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