Arthur Miller: Life and Works

Arthur Miller: Life

Arthur Miller was an American Playwright, screenwriter, and essayist who was born on October 17, 1915, in Manhattan, New York, U.S., and died on February 15, 2005, in Roxbury, Connecticut, U.S. Miller was the second of three children of three children of his parents, Augusta and Isidore Miller. Miller’s father, Isidore, was a native of Poland, and his mother, Augusta, belonged to New York. When Miller was in his teenage, he used to deliver bread daily morning before starting school. His father had a business in women’s clothes manufacturing. In 1929, the Miller family lost everything due to the Wall Street Crash, and they moved to Gravesend, Brooklyn.

Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller

“A Boy Grew in Brooklyn” under this title; he published an account of his early years. Miller has done his graduation from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1932. After graduation, he had to work at many minimal jobs to pay his college tuition at the University of Michigan. In 1936, after graduating from this university, Miller worked as a Psychiatric aide and copywriter. Miller later accepted faculty posts at New York University and the University of New York Hampshire.

Also Read: Death of a salesman summary

He joined the League of American Writers on May 1, 1935. At the University of Michigan, Miller wrote for the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily, and Gargoyle Humor Magazine. During this time, he wrote his first play, “No Villain.” He was awarded the Aery Hopwood Award for this play. This popularity and award prompted him to choose a career as a playwright. Miller later came in touch with an influencer, Professor Kenneth Rowe, who emphasized the dynamics of play construction. 

Miller wrote Honors at Down in 1937. It also got the Avery Hopwood Award. He joined the theatrical project in 1938. This project was a new deal agency established to provide jobs in the theatre. Miller later started working in the Brooklyn Navy yard and writing radio plays.

Arthur Miller: Married Life

Arthur Miller married Mary Grace Slattery in 1940. They had two children: Jane, who was born on September 7, 1944, and Robert, who was born on May 31, 1947. In June 1956, Miller left his first wife, Mary Grace Slattery, and wed a film star, Marlyn Monroe. Miller met with Marlyn Monroe in 1951. They had an affair and remained in contact. Although Marlyn Monroe was a heroine, she started hating Hollywood because she found it challenging to manage both; her career and her married life, so she started living an everyday life with Miller. Later she started to take drugs because she was facing difficulty sleeping. She was addicted to sleeping pills. Just after 5 years of their marriage, the couple divorced.

Miller remarried a photographer Inge Morath in February 1962. The couple had two children; Rebecca and Daniel. Miller and Inge Morath remained together till their death in 2002. In 1989, the 89 years old Miller shocked everyone by announcing that he was in love with 34 years old minimalist painter and had been living with him since 2002. They were about to marry.

Arthur Miller: Career

Miller’s first play, The Man Who Had All the Luck, was produced in 1944, and it won The Theatre Guide’s National Award. This play was closed only after four performances. All My Sons was one of the most popular plays by Miller. It was a successful payment. He got Tony Award for Best author for this play, and till then, he had got a reputation as a playwright. Miller started a small studio in Roxbury, Connecticut, in 1948. 

Death of a Salesman is a famous play written by him. He wrote the first act of death of a salesman in less than a day and completed the whole play within 6 months only. His masterwork Death of a Salesman premiered for the first time on Broadway on February 10, 1949, at Morosco. This play gained very popularity, and it was successful critically and commercially also. The play received The New York Drama Circle Critics Award as well. 

Miller later started writing the screenplay for the misfits in 1960. In 1968, Miller appeared in the Democratic National convention as a delegate. Arthur Miller’s work was banned in the Soviet Union in 1969 because he had campaigned for the freedom of dissident writers and produced one-act plays like Fame and The Reason Why in the 1970s. He wrote a play in 1972, The Creation of the World and Other Business. Unfortunately, this play had to face critical and commercial failures both.

In the 1990s, Miller wrote plays like The Ride Down Mt. MorganThe Last Yankee, and Broken Glass. He received the National Medal of Arts in 1993. Miller also got the Laura Pels Theatre Award for Master of American Dramatist in 1998. Finishing the Picture was Miller’s last play.

Arthur Miller: Works

  • Death of a Salesman, 1949
  • The Crucible, 1953
  • All My Sons, 1947
  • A View From the Bridge, 1956
  • Incident at Vichy, 1964
  • The Price, 1968
  • The Ride Dawn Mt. Morgan, 1991
  • After the Fall, 1964
  • The Creation of the World and Other Business, 1971
  • The Man Who Had All the Luck, 1944


  • Tony Award for Best Play in 1949, 1953
  • Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1949
  • American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Drama in 1959
  • Primetime Emmy Lifetime for Special Classification of Individual Achievements in 1967
  • Tony Award for Best Author in 1947, 1949

Many other awards he had won.

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