Pearl S. Buck

American Writer & Philanthropist
National Women's Hall of Fame

birthdate: June 26
Hillsboro, West Virginia

Pearl S. Buck was an American writer and philanthropist, and the first woman to receive both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature. Pearl S. Buck's parents were missionaries and she spent much of her early life, and early married life in China. She began writing in her teens, but her 1931 book, The Good Earth, about her experiences in China, brought her worldwide success. The book spent almost 2 years on the bestseller list and won her a Pulitzer Prize in 1932. She continued to be a prolific writer, penning more than 120 books, over 100 short stories and 10 children's books. Many of her works dealt with multicultural experiences as well as social issues like women's rights, immigration and adoption.

A passionate human rights activist, Pearl S. Buck was upset that American adoption agencies wouldn't help place Asian and mixed-race children. In 1949 she established Welcome House, the first interracial adoption agency, which has helped more than 5000 children find homes since then. To further help empower children of other cultures and eliminate injustice and prejudices, Pearl S. Buck also established the Opportunity House Foundation and the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, which ultimately merged to form Pearl S. Buck International. Her home and farm in Perkasie, Pennsylvania is a registered National Historic Landmark, educating the public about this great writer's life and accomplishments, and her important message of cross-cultural understanding and racial harmony as a key to achieving world peace.

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