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Edward Bok

Pulitzer Prize 1921

The Americanization of Edward Bok

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Edward William Bok , born Eduard Willem Gerard Cesar Hidde Bok ( Den Helder , 9 October 1863 - Lake Wales , 9 January 1930 ) was an American journalist and philanthropist . In 1920 he won a Pulitzer Prize .

His father was Willem Jan Hidde Bok (1829-1881), notary in Den Helder, his mother Gertrude sick of Herwerden (1837-1907), daughter of a stockbroker in naval affairs. After the notary by unfortunate investments reached a part of his capital had lost, he decided in 1870 with his family to emigrate to America. They settled in Brooklyn and acquired American citizenship in 1876.

The young Edward showed early strong entrepreneurial spirit. He learned several important Americans know as the eccentric millionaire Russell Sage , the railroad magnate Jay Gould and Reverend Henry Ward Beecher , brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe . In the eighties worked Bok on from stenographer to chief editor of several journals, first of Scribner's Magazine , then of Brooklyn Magazine and finally, in 1889, the still existing Ladies' Home Journal , which was published by Boks former classmate and lifelong friend Frank Doubleday. Under Boxing editors grew circulation of several hundred thousand to two million in 1919. He knew among others Helen Keller to attract, for Ladies' Home Journal her famous autobiography The Story of My Life as a serial would write.

Through his magazine had Edward W. Bok, as he is in the United States called a great influence on the style of America. President Theodore Roosevelt wrote: "Bok is the only man I ever heard of who changed, for the better, the architecture of an entire nation, and he did it so snel and yet so Effectively That we did not know it had bene before it was finished. "
Bok is considered the inventor of the concept of 'living room', living room, replacing what used 'parlor' or 'drawing room' was called the best room or upstairs room. He thought it was nonsense to an expensive room facility that was used only on Sundays and at funerals. The expression 'living room' he used to families to encourage the living room to use in everyday life: "We have what is called a" drawing room. "Just Whom or what it 'draws' I have never been to see bootable Unless it draws attention to too much money and no taste. "

Edward Bok married in 1896 to Mary Louise Curtis (1876-1970), the daughter of newspaper magnate Cyrus Curtis, who was the owner of Ladies' Home Journal . In 1919 he left the magazine to devote himself to philanthropy. He settled with his wife in Mountain Lake, a nature reserve near Lake Wales in Florida , where he is a botanical garden moored on 100 acres.

The garden was awarded the 62-foot Singing Tower , which was built in neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau , with a zestigklokkig carillon and a library. The tower and the gardens were opened in 1929 by President Coolidge .

In his autobiography, The Americanization of Edward Bok (1920) he won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography in 1921. The Dutch emigrants remained in touch with his distant homeland. There are correspondences of him familiar with, among others Jan Greshoff , Heijermans Herman and Johan Huizinga , whose biography under the auspices of Edward Bok in America would appear (1923). He was also one of the first presidents of the Holland America Society in New York. In August 1921 he released an extensive visit to the Netherlands.

Edward Bok, a large book devourer, golfer, philatelist and autograph hunter, died in 1930. He was buried at the foot of the Singing Tower and left most of his inheritance of approximately $ 23 million to his widow.

They would marry in 1943 with the world famous concert violinist Efrem Zimbalist (1889-1980). The grandson of the couple Bok, Derek Curtis Bok (born 1930) was president of Harvard University from 1971 to 1991. He married Sissela, the daughter of economist and Nobel laureate Gunnar Myrdal .


Success Ward (1895)
The Young Man & The Church (1896)
Her Brother's Letters (1906)
Why I Believe in Poverty (1915)
The Americanization of Edward Bok (1920)
A Dutch Boy Fifty Years After , delivered by John Louis Haney (1921)
Edward Bok. An autobiography (1921)
Life, struggle, triumph. An autobiography (Wereldbibliotheek, 1923; translation of Edward Bok. An autobiography )
Two Persons (1922)
A Man from Maine (1923)
AJ Barnouw, Holland under Queen Wilhelmina . With foreword by Edward J. Bok (New York, Scribner's Sons, 1923)
Twice Thirty. Some short and simple annals of the road (1925)
AJ Barnouw, Vondel . With foreword by Edward J. Bok (New York, Scribner's Sons, 1925, series "Great Hollanders', The Hague, Nijhoff, 1926)
Dollars Only (1926)
You. A Personal Message (1926)
America Give Me a Chance (1926)
Perhaps I Am (1928)

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