1902 – Born in Salinas, California on the 27th of February.
1925 – He attended Stanford University intermittently, when he departed without graduating in order to pursue his dream as a writer.
1929 – Steinbeck’s first novel, Cup of Gold was published.
1935 – Steinbeck achieved his first critical success with the novel Tortilla Flat, which won California Commonwealth Club’s Gold Medal.
1939 – Steinbeck followed this wave of success with The Grapes of Wrath, based on newspaper articles he had written in San Francisco, and considered by many to be his finest work.
1940 – Won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel, even as it was made into a famous film version starring Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford.
1942 – His novel The Moon is Down, about the Socrates-inspired spirit of resistance in a Nazi-occupied village in northern Europe, was made into a film almost immediately.
1944-1945 – He continued to work in film, writing Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat and the film A Medal for Benny about paisanos from Tortilla Flat going to war.
1947 – He wrote The Pearl already knowing it would be filmed.
1948 – Steinbeck again toured the Soviet Union, together with renowned photographer Robert Capa.
1952 – Steinbeck wrote one of his most popular novels, East of Eden.
1952 – Steinbeck appeared as the on-screen narrator of 20th Century Fox’s film, O. Henry’s Full House.
1958 – His correspondence days were later collected and made into Once There Was A War.
1961 – Steinbeck’s last novel, The Winter of Our Discontent.
1962 – Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his “realistic and imaginative writing, combining as it does sympathetic humor and keen social perception.”
1964 – Steinbeck was awarded the United States Medal of Freedom by President Johnson.
1967 – The behest of Newsday magazine, Steinbeck went to Vietnam to report on the war there.
1968 – On the 20th of December, John Steinbeck died in New York.