29¢ James Thurber
Literary Arts Series
Issue Date: September 10, 1994
City: Columbus, OH
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
A celebrated writer and humorist, James Thurber became famous for his comic writings and cartoonlike drawings. Born in Columbus, Ohio in 1894, Thurber attended Ohio State University from 1913-18. Never receiving his degree, he went on to become a reporter for the Columbus Evening Dispatch. In 1924 he moved to France, where he worked for the Paris edition of the Chicago Tribune before returning to New York City in 1926 to work as a reporter for the Evening Post.
In 1927, Thurber joined the newly established magazine The New Yorker as a managing editor and staff writer. A prolific writer, he published 31 books, wrote numerous short stories and essays, and even wrote a play. Virtually all his work dealt with the anxieties of an individual in a modern society. His characters were usually dissatisfied men frustrated by the complications of the world, pressured by their jobs, and trapped by their domineering wives. A classic example of his work is the short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which portrays an oversensitive man who escapes from his nagging wife through his daydreams.
In 1994, this stamp featuring a 1929 Thurber portrait entitled “Male Type (eastern seaboard)” was issued as part of the Literary Arts Series.