Skip to main content Skip to search results

Frank, Waldo David, 1889-1967

 

Dates

  • Existence: 1889 - 1967

Waldo Frank was born in Long Branch, New Jersy on August 25, 1889. He received a BA and in 1911, a MA from Yale University. Following graduation, Frank worked briefly as a reporter for the "New York Times" before leaving in 1913 for Paris, where he went to read and write. Here returned to New York City in 1914. In 1916, Frank became associate editor of The Seven Arts and published his first novel "The Unwelcome Man" in 1917. Frank was an anti-militarist and declared himself a conscientious objector in registering for the draft in 1917. He became increasingly political during the 1920s, joining the liberal magazine "The New Republic" as a contributing editor in November 1925.By the middle 1930s, Frank had moved close to the Communist Party, USA (CPUSA), culminating in his being tapped as speaker at the opening session of the founding convention of Communist-organized League of American Writers in April 1935. Frank was subsequently elected as the chairman of that organization. In January 1937, Frank went to Mexico to attend the congress of the League of Revolutionary Artists and Writers, where he interviewed Leon Trotsky. Frank largely removed himself from political activity during the decades of the 1940s and 1950s until in the fall of 1959 he visited revolutionary Cuba and was impressed enough to temporarily accept the position of chairman of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. He published his final book, "Cuba: Prophetic Island," a sympathetic account of the Cuban revolution, in 1961. Frank died on January 9, 1967.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Waldo D. Frank manuscript and letters

MS-96
 Collection
Identifier: MS-96
Overview Waldo D. Frank (1889-1967), novelist, historian, political activist, and literary critic. The collection contains correspondence as well as the manuscript and partial typescript, with notes, of "Our America, a Confession of Faith."