Author

William Young

American playwright, writer, and actor

1847   -   1920

country of citizenship: United States of America
languages spoken, written or signed: English
occupation: playwright

William Wallace Young (7 September 1847 – 2 October 1920) was an American playwright, writer, and actor, best known for his play adaptation of Ben-Hur in 1899.Young was born in Monmouth, Illinois on 7 September 1845, the son of Dr. John A Young and Isabella Hogue Wallace. He was valedictorian and last surviving member of Monmouth College class of 1863, and married Arvilla Joan Parry there in 1866. He was still at home with his parents in the 1870 census of Monmouth, with "literature" listed as his occupation. He was shown as a playwright with his wife and 2 children in the 1880 census of Monmouth, Illinois; his obituary stated he left Monmouth 30 years prior to his death (circa 1890), but always considered it his home. His first play Jonquil opened at Booth's Theatre in New York in 1871. His first play to receive significant attention was Pendragon in 1881. His 1883 comedy The Rajah was panned by critics but commercially successful, playing for 256 shows in New York before going on the road.He also acted some roles, and published a number of poems, including a volume titled Wishmaker's Town in 1885 which was republished in 1898 with an introduction by Thomas Bailey Aldrich. Young died at his summer residence, Burkhaven, Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire on 2 October 1920, and was buried in Monmouth, Illinois on 10 October 1920. Knowing that his time was short, he had just finished a historical play prior to his death (title unknown), asking that his daughter Nina transcribe it and ready it for publication.
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