Owen Johnson

Owen Johnson books and biography

Owen Johnson

Owen McMahon Johnson (August 27, 1878- January 27, 1952) was an American writer best remembered for his stories and novels cataloguing the educational and personal growth of the fictional character Dink Stover.

The "Lawrenceville Stories" (The Prodigious Hickey, The Tennessee Shad, The Varmint, Skippy Bedelle, The Hummingbird), set in the well-known prep school, invite comparison with Kipling's Stalky and Co. A 1992 PBS mini-series was based on them.

He was born in New York City, the son of Robert Underwood Johnson and his wife Katherine, née McMahon, and attended Lawrenceville School, founding and editing the Lawrenceville Literary Magazine, known as The Lit. He attended Yale University, graduating in 1901, marrying Mary Galt Stockly and moving to Paris, where he did his initial writing. He was a war correspondent for the New York Times and Collier's during World War I.

His first wife died in 1910. His second wife was Esther Ellen Cobb, whom he divorced in 1917. His third wife was Cecile Denise de la Garde, who died in 1918. His fourth wife was Catherine Sayre Burton, who died in 1921. His fifth wife was Gertrude Bovee Le Boutillier. He was the father of five children.

He worked and resided in Stockbridge, Massachusetts from 1923 to 1948, writing about marriage, divorce, and golf. After 1931, his writing activities became less intense, and he became interested in politics, running (unsuccessfully) for the House of Representatives in 1936 and 1938.

He died at his home in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, where he had lived for five years.


  • Arrows of the Almighty - 1901
  • In the Name of Liberty- 1905
  • Max Fargus - 1905
  • The Prodigious Hickey - 1908
  • The Eternal Boy - 1909
  • The Humming Bird - 1910 (also one of the 'Lawrenceville' stories)
  • The Varmint - 1910
  • The Tennessee Shad - 1911
  • Stover at Yale - 1911
  • The Salamander - 1913
  • The Woman Gives - 1915
  • The Spirit of France - 1915
  • The Wasted Generation- 1921
  • Skippy Bedelle - 1922 (also one of the 'Lawrenceville' stories)
  • Blue Blood - 1923
  • Sacrifice - 1929
  • The Coming of the Amazons - 1931

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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