George Jean Nathan


Biography of George Jean Nathan

George Jean Nathan (February 14, 1882 – April 8, 1958) was an American drama critic and editor. He worked closely with H.L. Mencken, bringing the literary magazine The Smart Set to prominence as an editor, and co-founding and editing The American Mercury.

Early life

Nathan was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He graduated from Cornell University in 1904, where he was a member of the Quill and Dagger society, and an editor of The Cornell Daily Sun.

Relationships and marriage

Though he published a paean to The Bachelor Life in 1941, Nathan had a reputation as a "ladies man" -- and one not averse to dating within his field; indeed the character of Addison De Witt, the waspish theater critic who squires a starlet (played by a then-unknown Marilyn Monroe) in the film All About Eve, was based on Nathan. His most famous relationship was reportedly with actress Lillian Gish. Their relationship began in the late 1920s and lasted almost a decade, with Gish repeatedly refusing his marriage proposals.

Nathan eventually married considerably younger stage actress Julie Haydon in 1955.

[Report Error]