Stephen Vincent Benét (1898-1943) was one of the most popular writers of his day. Among Benét’s many achievements are a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1926 — the first ever awarded for poetry — and the Pulitzer Prize in 1929 for his Civil War epic poem and best-known work, “John Brown’s Body,” which he wrote over two years’ time. Perhaps his most famous short story, “The Devil and Daniel Webster” (1936), published in the Post, won an O. Henry Prize and was later made into a play, an opera, and a motion picture.
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