A second-generation Wall Street lawyer, Louis Stanton Auchincloss was born September 27, 1917, at Lawrence, Long Island, the summer home of his parents, J. Howland Auchincloss and the former Priscilla Stanton. Educated at Groton School and at Yale University, Auchincloss began writing as a teenager and submitted his first finished novel as an undergraduate. Although the publisher Charles Scribner’s Sons expressed interest in his planned second novel even as the firm rejected his first, young Auchincloss saw fit to take the rejection as an omen of sorts and embark on a law career with all deliberate speed. Actively seeking the best law school that would accept him without a bachelor’s degree, he left Yale University after three years and enrolled in1938 at the University of Virginia Law School, having presumably renounced literature for life.
In retrospect, Auchincloss’s impulsive decision to leave Yale University prior to graduation turned out to have been a timely one; after receiving his law degree in 1941, he was hired by the well-known Wall Street firm of Sullivan and Cromwell and was actually able to practice his profession for several months before the United States went to war, with a job awaiting him upon his return from inevitable military service.
Commissioned in the Navy, Auchincloss served in both the Atlantic and Pacific war theaters after an initial posting to the Canal Zone, an area little touched by the war, where he began to reconsider the option of creative writing. The young officer kept his...
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