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Archibald MacLeish
(May 7, 1892 – April 20, 1982)

1520 33rd St. NW, Georgetown neighborhood, DC.

The three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and playwright lived in DC from 1939 through 1949, serving as Librarian of Congress, Director of the War Department's Office of Facts and Figures, Assistant Director of the Office of War Information, and as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.

Prior to moving to DC, MacLeish was a practicing lawyer, and an editor for The New Republic and Fortune Magazine. He also spent much of the 1920s as part of the expatriate arts community in Paris. After leaving DC, MacLeish taught at Harvard University and Amherst College.

Despite his lack of background in library science, at the Library of Congress, MacLeish was responsible for many notable successes, including raising salaries and restructuring staff, improving internal communication with division chiefs, improving the system of cataloging the collection, and increasing the Library's endowment. He also re-conceptualized the office of US Poet Laureate, brought a number of important foreign writers-in-exile to work at the Library, such as Saint-John Perse, and was instrumental in gaining the release of Ezra Pound from his incarceration at St. Elizabeth's Hospital.

MacLeish won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry twice, in 1933 and 1953, and the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1959, for his verse-play, J.B. MacLeish is the author of over 20 books of poems, including Nobodaddy (1926), Conquistador (1932), and The Human Season (1972). He also published history, correspondence, biography, and literary criticism, and 17 plays and radio dramas.


Lee-Fendall House 607 Oronoco St, Old Town Alexandria, VA

Robert E. Lee Boyhood Home Year: 1795
This Federal style house, also known as the Potts-Fitzhugh House, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. At one time operated as a house museum, it has reverted to a private home.

Links

Beltway Poetry Quarterly, "Karren L. Alenier on Archibald MacLeish"
Beltway Poetry Quarterly, "Four Laureates"

Author photo courtesy of Library of Congress.