Richard Edward Connell

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 387

Richard Connell was born October 17, 1893, in Duchess County near the Hudson River in New York State—not far from Theodore Roosevelt's homestead. At the age of ten, he started writing for the Poughkeepsie News-Press, his father's newspaper, as a baseball reporter. Later, while attending Georgetown College in Washington D.C., Richard served as secretary to his father in Congress. Following his father's death in 1912, Connell enrolled at Harvard University where he served as editor for both the Daily Crimson and the Lampoon. After Harvard, Connell went to work for the New York American, a newspaper in New York City. He also served with American forces in World War I. In 1925, following the publication of "The Most Dangerous Game," which won him the O'Henry Memorial Award for short fiction, Connell moved to Beverly Hills, California, where he continued his career as a freelance writer.

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Richard Connell was one of the most prolific short story writers of the early-twentieth-century, writing more than three hundred stories, many of which were published in popular magazines of the day, such as The Saturday Evening Post and Colliers. His most widely known story is "The Most Dangerous Game," which has been in print continuously since 1924. Many of his stories were published in three collections: The Sin of Monsieur Petipon (1922), Apes and Angels (1924), and Ironies (1930). Though Connell did not target young adult readers with his stories or books, "The Most Dangerous Game" is often read by young adults and is often included in collections of stories for young adults.

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Connell lived in California writing short stories, novels, and motion picture scripts until his death in 1949. He wrote three novels: Mad Lover, Playboy, and What Ho! Among Connell's many screenplays are Seven Faces and Brother Orchid, which starred Hollywood legends Edward G. Robinson and Humphry Bogart.

Connell was a professional writer for forty-six years. It was the only life he knew. A trained reporter, he drew not only from his own experiences and imaginations, but also from all those he had interviewed and written about over the years. As a veteran of World War I, he witnessed first hand man's inhumanity to man and the horrors of war. "The Most Dangerous Game" reflects Connell's intense social consciousness, addressing some of the most pressing issues of the early twentieth century in a thoughtful and provocative manner.

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