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Howard HAWKS

American Howard HAWKS

born Howard Winchester HAWKS

American film director, producer and screenwriter of the classic Hollywood era

Source :  Tim DOWLING

Born: on May 30, 1896 in Goshen, Indiana, USA
Died: on December 26, 1977 in Palm Springs, California, USA


Biography

Howard Hawks was born in Goshen, Indiana. Hawks was the first-born child of Frank W. Hawks (1865–1950), a wealthy paper manufacturer, and the former Helen Howard (1872–1952), the daughter of a wealthy industrialist. Hawks's family on his father's side were American pioneers and his ancestor John Hawks had emigrated from England to Massachusetts in 1630. The family eventually settled in Goshen and by the 1890s was one of the wealthiest families in the Mid-West, due mostly to the highly profitable Goshen Milling Company. Hawk's maternal grandfather C. W. Howard (1845–1916) had homesteaded in Neenah, Wisconsin in 1862 at age 17 and within 15 years had earned a fortune in the town's Paper mill and other industrial endeavors. Frank Hawks and Helen Howard met in the early 1890s and married in 1895. Hawks was the oldest of five children and his birth was followed by Kenneth Neil Hawks (August 12, 1899- January 2, 1930), William Bellinger Hawks (1902- January 10, 1969), Grace Louise Hawks (October 17, 1903- December 23, 1927) and Helen Bernice Hawks (1906- May 4, 1911). In 1898 the family moved to Neenah, Wisconsin where Franks Hawks began working for his father-in-law's Howard Paper Company.

Between 1906 and 1909 the Hawks's family began to spend more time in Pasadena, California during the cold Wisconsin winters in order to improve Helen Hawks's ill health. Gradually they began to spend only their summers in Wisconsin before permanently moving to Pasadena in 1910. The family settled in a house down the street from Throop Polytechnic Institute (which would eventually become California Institute of Technology), and the Hawks children began attending the school's Polytechnic Elementary School in 1907. Hawks was an average student at school and did not exceed in sports, but by 1910 had discovered coaster racing, an early form of soapbox racing. In 1911, Hawks's youngest sibling Helen died suddenly of food poisoning. From 1910 to 1912 Hawks attended Pasadena High School, where he was again an average student. But in 1912 the Hawks family moved to nearby Glendora, California, where Frank Hawks owned orange groves. Hawks finished his junior year of high school at Citrus Union High School in Glendora., and was then sent to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire from 1913 to 1914. Again, he was an average student and his family's wealth may have influenced his acceptance to the elite private school. While in New England, Hawks often attended theatrical shows in nearby Boston. In 1914 Hawks returned to Glendora and graduated from Pasadena High School in 1914. In 1914 Hawks was accepted to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he majored in mechanical engineering and was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. As always, Hawks was an average student and college friend Ray S. Ashbury remembered him as spending more of his time playing craps and drinking alcohol than studying, although Hawks was also known to be a voracious reader of popular American and English novels in college.

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