A Child's University,
6699 Windmill Gate Rd Hialeah, FL 33014
In 1904, MacKinlay Kantor
– first known as Benjamin McKinlay Kantor – was born in Webster City, Iowa to
Effie Kantor who was editor of the Webster
City Daily News. Roots to literature
and writing were seeded through his mother’s profession. As a kid, Kantor would
visit and absorb all the books in the Kendall Young Library, or his
“university,” eventually leading to winning a writing contest with his story
“Purple.” For a while, he wrote pieces for pulp fiction magazines, separate
short stories, and a novel for an editor in Detective
Fiction Weekly before attending World War II.
Serving in WWII helped
this perked interest in creating a Glory
for Me that’d later be adapted to the screenplay The Best Years of Our Lives, which gained him instant fame.
Alongside the film, he published thirty plus novels on the Civil War, all
inspired from WWII and experiences shared with him in the past. So with time,
Kantor published a few more pieces of literature and became involved in
screenplays from the comfort of his home in Sarasota, Florida before passing
away from a heart attack in 1977. A location where he was able to enjoy
beautiful scenery reminiscent to the Civil War Era.
And so, I decided to
dedicate a garden in his name and to be an inspiration for kids interested in
writing at the Miami Lakes Public Library Branch. A suburban area filled with
growing minds, and reflective towards where Kantor’s love for literature grew.
Credit for MacKinlay Kantor Portrait: Sarasota History Biographies