- NAME: Pearl S. Buck
- OCCUPATION: Civil Rights Activist, Women's Rights Activist, Author
- BIRTH DATE: June 26, 1892
- DEATH DATE: March 06, 1973
- EDUCATION: Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Cornell University, Yale University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Hillsboro, West Virginia
- PLACE OF DEATH: Danby, Vermont
- AKA: Sai Zhenzhu
- Originally: Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker
- Full Name: Pearl Sydenstricker Buck
- AKA: Pearl S. Buck
- AKA: Pearl Buck
Best Known For
Prolific author Pearl S. Buck earned a Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Good Earth. She was also the first female to win a Nobel Prize for Literature.
While growing up in China as a missionary, Pearl S. Buck was uniquely positioned to write about the Chinese people and bridge the gap between Americans and the Chinese. Video courtesy of Open Road Media.
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After receiving the Pulitzer, Buck moved back to the United States permanently. In 1933, she went back to graduate school—this time at Yale University—and earned an additional master's degree. In 1938, she achieved the illustrious distinction of becoming the first women to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature.
Buck continued to write prolifically thereafter,
choosing China as the setting for the majority of her work. Her genres ranged from such popular novels-turned-movies as China Sky (1941) and The Dragon Seed (1942), to children's books like The Water-Buffalo Children (1943) and The Christmas Ghost (1960). Buck's body of work also includes non-fiction. Her final works include the non-fiction book China as I See It and a cookbook about Asian cuisine, Pearl S. Buck's Oriental Cookbook (1972.)
Concurrent with her writing career, Buck was active in humanitarian efforts to protect Asian Americans against racial intolerance through increasing awareness. She also strove to improve disadvantaged Asian American's (particularly children's) living conditions. Toward these ends, Buck founded the East and West Association in 1941.
Also in support of these causes, in 1949, Buck started the adoption agency Welcome House, which specialized in the adoption of Asian-American children. In 1964, she established the Pearl S. Buck Foundation to further "address the issues of poverty and discrimination faced by children in Asian countries." In 1973, she bequeathed her personal estate as the future headquarters of Pearl S. Buck International.
Pearl S. Buck died of lung cancer on March 6, 1973, in Danby, Vermont. Today, she continues to be regarded as a legendary American writer and humanitarian.
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"Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love." Stated by legendary civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., these words represent a basic human philosophy to which black history's greatest leaders have passionately subscribed. Learn more about the world's most revered civil rights activists, known for their fight against social injustices and lasting impact on the lives of black citizens, including Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Nelson Mandela, Nina Simone, Mary McLeod Bethune, Lena Horne, Marva Collins, Rosa Parks, W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
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