John Kendrick Bangs (May 27, 1862 - January 21, 1922) was an American author and satirist, and the creator of modern Bangsian fantasy, the school of fantasy writing that sets the plot wholly or partially in the afterlife.
He was born in Yonkers, New York. His father was a lawyer in New York City.
He went to Columbia University from 1880 to 1883 where he became editor of Columbia's literary magazine and contributed short anonymous pieces to humor magazines. After graduation in 1883, Bangs entered Columbia Law School but left in 1884 to become Associate Editor of Life under Edward S. Martin. Bangs contributed many articles and poems to the magazine between 1884 and 1888. During this period, Bangs published his first books.
In 1888 Bangs left Life to work at Harper's Magazine, Harper's Bazaar and Harper's Young People. From 1889 to 1900 he held the title of Editor of the Departments of Humor for all three Harper's magazines and from 1899 to 1901 served as active editor of Harper's Weekly. Bangs also served for a short time (January-June, 1889) as the first editor of Munsey's Magazine and became editor of the American edition of the Harper-owned Literature from January to November, 1899.
He left Harper & Brothers in 1901 and became editor of the New Metropolitan magazine in 1903. In 1904 he was appointed editor of Puck, perhaps the foremost American humor magazine of its day. In this period, he revived his earlier interest in drama. In 1906 he switched his focus to the lecture circuit.
Agnes Hyde Bangs, his wife with whom he had three sons, died in 1903. Bangs then married Mary Gray. In 1907 they moved from Yonkers to Ogunquit, Maine. John Kendrick Bangs died on 1922 at age fifty-nine.