Dorothy Parker was an American critic, satirical poet and a short-story writer. She was born on August 22 in 1893, to Jacob Henry and Elizabeth Rothschild in New Jersey. Dorothy’s mother was of Scottish descent and her father was of German-Jewish descent. She was also known for Dot or Dottie. As she was growing up, she had an unhappy childhood. Both her mother and step mother died when she was young; her uncle, Martin Rothschild went down on the Titanic in 1912; and her father died in the following year. Young Dorothy attended a Catholic grammar school, and then finished school in Morristown at New Jersey.
In 1914, Parker sold her first poem to Vanity Fair. At the age of 22, she took an editorial job at Vogue. She continued to write poems for newspapers and magazines, and in 1917 she joined Vanity Fair, taking over for P.G. Wodehouse as a drama critic. At the same year, she married to a Wall Street stockbroker, Edwin Pond Parker. But her marriage became violet, and the couple divorced in 1928.
Parker enhanced her legend in the 1920s and early 1930s through membership in the Algorquin Hotel’s celebrated Round Table. The “Vicious Circle” included Robert Benchley, Harpo Marx, George S Kaufman, and Edna Ferber was known for its scathing wit and intellectual commentary. In 1922, Parker published her first short story, “Such a pretty little picture”, for Smart Set.
In 1925, the New Yorker debuted and Parker was listed on the editorial board. Over the years, she contributed to poetry, fiction and book reviews as the “Constant Reader”. One of her most popular stories “Big Blonde” won the O. Henry Award in 1929. In 1934, Parker married actor-writer Alan Campbell in New Mexico. The couple relocated to Los Angeles and became a highly paid screen writing team. They laboured for MGM and Paramount on mostly forgettable features and they were nominated in the Academy Award for “A Star is Born” in 1937. They divorced in 1947, and remarried in 1950.
In her personal life, she had become politically active by supporting such causes as the fight for civil rights. She was also involved in the Communist Party in the 1930s. This led her being blacklisted in Hollywood, but she was still regarded for her famous writing and poetry. She returned to New York City in 1963, and spent her last few days there in a serious heart condition. She died on June 7, 1967 at the age of 73 years old.