On This Day

Jean Genet

Novelist and Playwright Jean Genet

Profession: Novelist and Playwright

Nationality:
France
French

Why Famous: While Genet started out as a small-time criminal and vagabond, he is best known for his later career as a writer and playwright. Of course, the two are inseparable and one of his best known works is an autobiographical novel: 'The Thief's Journal.'

His writing career began when he wrote his first novel in prison, 'Our Lady of the Flowers.' He took this to Jean Cocteau, to whom he introduced himself and who, impressed with Genet's writing, helped to have his novel published.

From there, his rise was assured and he even entered into political activity; including traveling to the United States on the invitation of the Black Panthers and to Palestinian refugee camps, where he secretly met Yasser Arafat near Amman.

Born: December 19, 1910
Birthplace: Paris, France

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Dog
Star Sign: Sagittarius

Died: April 15, 1986 (aged 75)
Cause of Death: Throat cancer

Historical Events

  • 1931-11-04 Jean Genet's "Judith" premieres in Paris
  • 1933-02-27 Jean Genet's "Intermezzo" premieres in Paris
  • 1939-08-03 Jean Genet's "Ondine" premieres in Paris
  • 1959-10-28 Jean Genet's "Les Negres" premieres in Paris
  • 1960-05-18 Jean Genet's play "Le Balcon" (The Balcony) premieres in Paris