ALBERT B. PAINE, 76, BIOGRAPHER, DEAD
Novelist and Writer of Mark Twain's Life - Stricken in Florida on Way Here
ON PULITZER COMMITTEE
Began as Photographic Supply Dealer - Was Decorated by France for Joan of Arc Book
NEW SMYRNA, Fla., April 9 (AP). Albert Bigelow Paine of West Redding, Conn., author and biographer, died here tonight after an illness of four weeks. His age was 75.
A member of the Pulitzer Prize Committee for many years, he had just finished reading a novel which may bring its author the award next month. Mr. Paine spent the Winter in South Florida and was en route to New York when he was stricken and brought to a hospital here.
For the past forty years, Mr. Paine had spent most of his time in Europe and the East.
Survivors include the widow, Mrs. Dora L. Paine, who was with her husband; three daughters. Mrs. Louise Paine Benjamin of New York, associate editor of The Ladies' Home Journal; Mrs. Frances Paine Wade of Paris, France, and Mrs. J. H. Cushman of West Redding, and a sister, Mrs. Carry Alexander of Orange Park, Fla.
The body will be sent to West Redding for funeral services and burial.
Wrote Twain Biography
Albert Bigelow Paine wrote fiction, humor, verse and edited several magazines, but his outstanding work was a three-volume biography of Mark Twain, with whom he lived and traveled for four years. In addition, he wrote "The Boy's Life of Mark Twain" (1916) and "A Short Life of Mark Twain" (1920). He was Twain's literary executor and arranged for publication of "Mark Twain's Letters" (1917).
"Thomas Nast - His Period and His Pictures" (1904) was Mr. Paine's first biography. He also wrote lives of Lillian Gish, Captain Bill MacDonald of the Texas Rangers and George F. Baker, New York banker.
Mr. Paine lived for several years in France and wrote "Joan of Arc, Maid of France," and "The Girl in White Armor," works which brought him from the French Government the decoration of Chevalier in the Legion of Honor.
His travel books, all widely circulated, included "The Car That Went Abroad," "The Ship Dwellers" and "The Tent Dwellers." His first novel was "The Bread Line" (1900) and he followed it in 1901 with "The Great White Way," a title for Broadway and New York's theatrical district that came into general use.
All through the years he turned out skits, sketches and a steady string of books for children, the "Hollow Tree," "Arkansas Bear" and "Deep Woods," the first of which were produced in the Nineties and which are still selling.
Spent Youth in West
Mr. Paine was born July 10, 1861, in New Bedford, Mass., the fifth child of Samuel Estabrook Paine, a Vermont farmer and storekeeper, and Mercy Coval Kirby Paine of South Dartmouth, Mass., daughter of a family of seafaring folk. When he was a year old, the family moved to Bentonsport, Iowa, where the father owned a store and a farm. But in a few months the elder Paine marched away to the Civil War. After the war the family moved to Xenia, Ill.
There Mr. Paine attended a one-room school, writing "compositions" for the weekly "literary" exercises. At 20 he went to St. Louis, learned photography, tramped with camera for three years through the South and then set himself up as a dealer in photographic supplies in Fort Scott, Kan. He kept this up for ten years, but wrote, too, and his first book, "Rhymes by Two Friends" (1893), was also the first book of William Allen White, for it was a collection of their verse.
A pleasant note from Richard Harding Davis, accepting a Paine story for Harper's Weekly, decided him to turn author in earnest, and in 1895 he sold his photographic business and went to New York.
Return to The New York Times
Quotations | Newspaper Articles | Special Features | Links | Search