Robert Penn Warren is the only person to have won Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and poetry. He won the Pulitzer in 1947 for his novel All the King’s Men (1946), and he was also awarded two Pulitzers poetry in 1957 and then in 1979. He was the nation’s first poet laureate.
Warren was born in neighboring Guthrie, Kentucky. He graduated from Clarksville High School in Tennessee, Vanderbilt University in 1925 and the University of California, Berkeley in 1926. Warren later attended Yale University and obtained his B. Litt. as a Rhodes Scholar from New College, Oxford, in England in 1930.
Though his works strongly reflect Southern themes and mindset, Warren published his most famous work, All the King’s Men, while a professor at The University of Minnesota and lived the latter part of his life in Fairfield, Connecticut, and Stratton, Vermont. He also received a Guggenheim Fellowship to study in Italy during the reign of Benito Mussolini. He died on September 15, 1989 of complications from bone cancer.