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Biographical Data

“The Sage of Moberly” as Jack Conroy was known, was born December 5, 1898 in a coal mining camp (Monkey’s Nest) near Moberly. His parents were Thomas E. (Tom) Conroy and Elizabeth Jane McCullough McKiernan Conroy.
1920’s 
Attended the University of Missouri-Columbia for one semester and held various factory jobs in Des Moines, Hannibal, Detroit and Toledo.
1931-1932 
Edited The Rebel Poet.
1933 
Founded The Anvil. First novel, The Disinherited, published.
1935 
Received a Guggenheim Fellowship to write about migrant workers. Second novel, A World to Win published.
1938-1942 
Moved to Chicago. Edited, with Nelson Algren, The New Anvil. Joined the Federal Writers Project; collected industrial folklore; assigned to Black history project with Arna Bontemps.
1942 
Publication of The Fast Sooner Hound, first of three children’s books, in collaboration with Arna Bontemps.
1944 
Six of Conroy’s industrial folktales anthologized in B.A. Botkin’s A Treasury of American Folklore.
1947 
Published Midland Humor and became senior editor for The New Standard Encyclopedia in Chicago.
1966 
Returned to Moberly. Began his autobiography and lectured at numerous universities. Published Anyplace But Here in collaboration with Arna Bontemps.
1973 
Edited Writers in Revolt with Curt Johnson.
1977 
Awarded honorary doctorate from University of Missouri—Kansas City.
1985 
The Weed King and Other Stories published.
1990 
Died at Moberly, Missouri, age 91. Buried at Sugar Creek Cemetery.
1991
University of Missouri edition of The Disinherited appears.
1994 
Biography of Jack Conroy, Worker-Writer in America by Douglas Wixson published by University of Illinois Press.
2000 
A World to Win.

Published Works

The Disinherited, 1933
A World to Win, 1935
The Fast Sooner Hound, 1942, co-authored by Arna Bontemps
They Seek A City,1945, co-authored by Arna Bontemps
Slappy Hooper, The Wonderful Sign Painter, 1946, co-authored by Arna Bontemps
Sam Patch, The High, Wide and Handsome Jumper,1951, co-authored by Arna Bontemps
Anyplace But Here, 1966
Anyplace But Here, 1997 (University of Missouri Press)
A World to Win, 2000 (University of Illinois Press) with introduction by Douglas Wixson.

 

Edited Works

Unrest (with Ralph Cheyney), 1929-1931
Midland Humor: A Harvest of Fun and Folklore, 1947
Writers in Revolt: The Anvil Anthology, 1973

Awards and Honors

Guggenheim Award, 1935
Literary Times Award, State of Illinois, 1967
Society of Midland Authors James L. Dow Award for Anyplace But Here, 1967
Rabinowitz grant to write his autobiography
Missouri Literary Association, Literary Award, 1969
Honorary Do ctor of Letters, University of Missouri at Kansas City, 1975
National Endowment for the Arts, Artist’s grant (1978)
Mark Twain Award, Society for the Midwestern Literature, 1980
Recognition by the Missouri Senate, 1984
City of Moberly, Jack Conroy Day, May 22, 1985
Society of Midland Authors Award for Lifetime Achievement, 1986
Lifetime Membership, Missouri Folklore Society
“A True Friend of Working People”, Central Missouri Labor Council, AFL-CIO and all the working men and women of Mid-Missouri