Phyllis McGinley

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Date of Birth March 21, 1905
Place of Birth Oregon
Date of Death Feb 22, 1978 (72)
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Phyllis McGinley

Phyllis McGinley was an American author of children's books and poetry. Her poetry was in the style of light verse, specializing in humor, satiric tone and the positive aspects of suburban life. She won a Pulitzer prize in 1961. McGinley enjoyed a wide readership in her lifetime, publishing her work in newspapers and women's magazines such as the Ladies Home Journal, as well as in literary periodicals, including The New Yorker, The Saturday Review and The Atlantic. She also held nearly a dozen honorary degrees – "including one from the stronghold of strictly masculine pride, Dartmouth College". Time Magazine featured McGinley on its cover on June 18, 1965.

Born: March 21, 1905, Ontario, Oregon
Died: February 22, 1978, New York City
Nationality: US

About Phyllis McGinley

Remembered for both her children's literature and her poetry, she published such acclaimed works as The Most Wonderful Doll in the World (1950), Boys Are Awful (1962), and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Times Three: Selected Verse from Three Decades (1960).

Before Fame

Before beginning her literary career, she taught school, worked as a journalist, was employed by an ad agency, and earned a degree in musical theatre from the University of Utah. She published her first poetry collection, On the Contrary, in 1934.


She appeared on the June 1965 cover of Time magazine.

Family Life

Born in Oregon to Julia and Daniel McGinley, she later married Charles Hayden and raised two children, including a writer daughter named Julie Hayden.


Fellow poet Sylvia Plath criticized McGinley for her use of light verse.

Information related to Phyllis McGinley

  • Pulitzer Prize for Poetry winners
  • Laetare Medal recipients
  • Writers from Colorado
  • Writers from Oregon
  • The New Yorker people
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Latest information about Phyllis McGinley updated on March 01, 2021.

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