E.B. White: Biography, Facts, Books, Essays & Poems

Instructor: Natarielle Powell
E.B. White was a 20th century children's book author who created characters that still captivate young people today. Continue reading to learn more about E.B. White, his children's books and his other writing.

An Imaginative Life: E.B. White

Real life is only one kind of life--there is also the life of the imagination. It is no surprise that E.B. White would feel this way, seeing as he expressed his vivid imagination by giving the world an interesting spider named Charlotte and a clever mouse named Stuart, both of whom the world will never forget!

The man himself
e b  white

The initials E.B. stood for Elwyn Brooks. Elwyn Brooks White was born on July 11, 1899 in Mount Vernon, New York. He used the initials for his first and middle name because he did not like them. He studied at Cornell University. While he was there, his friends called him Andy, and he took a liking to that.

In 1921, White graduated from Cornell University. He was the editor of his college newspaper, so naturally, he would looked for a career in the same field. He worked for multiple papers, including the Seattle Times and the United Press. In 1927, White took a position as a writer and contributing editor for The New Yorker and worked there for a very long time.

In 1929, White married a young lady by the name of Katharine, also a writer and editor at the The New Yorker. She had two children (Roger and Nancy), and they had one son together (Joel).

A young E. B. White and his dog

Children's Books

E.B. White is perhaps best known for introducing the world to a comical spider and pig duo that are featured in the children's book, Charlotte's Web. In 1952, we came to know the spider, Charlotte, and the pig, Wilbur, and their unique friendship. However, this was not White's first published children's story.

In 1945, White published the children's book, Stuart Little. This tale of a mouse living as a member of the family became a classic. Later on, in 1970, E. B. White came out with another children's book called The Trumpet of the Swan. Both Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little would later be made into movies for children and families.

Poetry, Essays, and Other Writing

Although he was gifted in writing children's literature, White proved that he could also hold his own in other areas of writing as well. In 1938, he published a collection of poetry entitled, The Fox of Peapack, and Other Poems. He published The Second Tree from the Corner in 1954.

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