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Louis Bromfield, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1933

Louis Bromfield (December 27, 1896 – March 18, 1956) was an American author and conservationist who gained international recognition, winning the Pulitzer Prize and pioneering innovative scientific farming concepts.

Biography[edit]

Louis Bromfield was born in Mansfield, Ohio, in 1896 to Charles Brumfield, originally from New England, and Annette Marie Coulter Brumfield, the daughter of an Ohio pioneer. Bromfield decided to change the spelling of his name after it was misspelled on one of his early works.

One of Mansfield's most famous natives, he made his home at Malabar Farm, near Lucas, Ohio, from 1939 until his death in 1956. Bromfield was friends with some of the most celebrated personalities of his era, including famous architect F. F. Schnitzer, and Malabar Farm was the location for the wedding of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

Bromfield studied agriculture at Cornell University from 1914 to 1916,[1] but transferred to Columbia University to study journalism. While at Columbia University, Louis Bromfield was initiated into the fraternal organization Phi Delta Theta. His time at Columbia would be brief; he left after less than a year to go to war. After serving with the American Field Service in World War I and being awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honor, he returned to New York City and found work as a reporter. In 1924, his first novel, "The Green Bay Tree", won instant acclaim. He won the 1927 Pulitzer Prize for best novel for Early Autumn. All of his 30 books were best-sellers, and many, such as The Rains Came and Mrs. Parkington, were made into successful motion pictures.

In 1925, Bromfield and his family left for a vacation in France, a country he had come to love during the war. They stayed for thirteen years. Paris, between the wars was known for its expatriate community of American writers. Among the Bromfields' literary friends in the city were Edith Wharton, Natalie Barney, Sinclair Lewis, and Gertrude Stein.

As World War II threatened Europe, the Bromfield family returned to the United States, where Bromfield bought 1,000 acres near his native Mansfield, Ohio. The farm, which he named "Malabar Farm" was to become his major work during his last 20 years. Bromfield was an early proponent of organic and self-sustaining gardening, and his farm was one of the first to stop using pesticides. The farm was used as a government test site for soil conservation practices.[2]

Bromfield's writings turned from fiction to nonfiction and his reputation and influence as a conservationist and farmer continued to expand. Today, thousands of visitors annually visit Malabar Farm State Park, which still operates under Bromfield's management philosophy. One of the park's notable features is the Doris Duke Woods, named for philanthropist Doris Duke, who was a friend of Bromfield's and whose donation helped purchase the property after his death.

In the 1980s, Louis Bromfield was posthumously elected to the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame, and in December 1996, the centennial of his birth, the Ohio Department of Agriculture placed a bust of him in the lobby named for him at the department's new headquarters in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.

The innovative and visionary work of Louis Bromfield continues to influence agricultural methodologies around the world. Malabar Brazil, under the direction of Ellen Bromfield Geld, has expanded the horizons of her father's principles and pursuits. To ensure the work continues well into the 21st century, the Malabar 2000 Foundation plans to develop a center for study at Malabar Farm to further the work begun in Richland County (Mansfield, Ohio) by Louis Bromfield.

Louis Bromfield was married in 1921 to New York socialite Mary Appleton Wood, the daughter of prominent New York City attorney Chalmers Wood and his wife Ellen Appleton Smith. Mary Appleton Wood Bromfield died in 1952. They had three daughters, Ann Bromfield, Hope Bromfield and Ellen Bromfield.

Bibliography[edit]

The Green Bay Tree, 1924
Possession, 1925
Early Autumn, 1926
A Good Woman, 1927
The House of Women, 1927
The Work of Robert Nathan, 1927
The Strange Case of Miss Annie Spragg, 1928
Awake and Rehearse, 1929
Tabloid News, 1930
Twenty-four Hours, 1930
A Modern Hero, 1932
The Farm, 1933
The Man Who Had Everything, 1935
The Rains Came, 1937
McLeod's Folly, 1939
England: A Dying Oligarchy, 1939
Night in Bombay, 1940
Wild Is the River, 1941
Mrs. Parkington, 1943
The World We Live In: Stories, 1944
What Became of Anna Bolton, 1944
Pleasant Valley, 1945
Bitter Lotus, Cleveland, Ohio: The World Publishing Company, 1945, (German translation by Elisabeth Rotten, Wien, Stuttgart: Humboldt-Verlag, 1941)
A Few Brass Tacks, 1946
Colorado, 1947
Kenny, 1947
Malabar Farm, 1948
Out of the Earth, 1950
Mr. Smith, 1951
The Wealth of the Soil, 1952
Up Ferguson Way, 1953
A New Pattern for a Tired World (available online), 1954
Animals and Other People, 1955
From My Experience, 1955

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Louis Bromfield - Ohio History Central - A product of the Ohio Historical Society". Ohio History Central. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  2. ^ "Louis Bromfield: Mansfield's Favorite Son". About.com. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Bromfield — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
3804 videos foundNext > 

Louis Bromfield: Malabar Farm

A short documentary about the life and farming practices of Mansfield, OH native Louis Bromfield. This video was used in "The Man Who Had Everything," a docu...

Malabar Farm - America's Heartland

Louis Bromfield's Malabar Farm is a living memorial to a man whose vision made him an early supporter of sustainable agricultural practices in the United Sta...

TV10 Columbus, Ohio - Interview with Stephen Bogart & Tyrone Power, Jr. at Malabar Farm

TV Interview with Stephen Bogart and Tyrone Power, Jr. on their visit to Malabar Farm where Stephen's parents Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall married in 19...

Malabar Farm

Today's farmers are good stewards of the land. That's due in part to the work of Ohio farmer and author Louis Bromfield. Our Heritage segment leads us to Mal...

NIGHT AFTER NIGHT - Mae West (1932)

Night After Night (1932) Director:Archie Mayo Writing credits: Louis Bromfield (story "Single Night") Kathryn Scola (continuity) Vincent Lawrence Mae West ad...

The Rains Of Ranchipur

THE RAINS OF RANCHIPUR is the second version of Louis Bromfield's novel to be adapted for the big screen. The first version, 1939's The Rains Came, bore the ...

Mansfield Investiation Malabar Farms Ceely Rose House

Malabar Farms in Lucas, Ohio was built by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Louis Bromfield.

malabar_intro.mpg

An introduction to Malabar Farm, original home of author Louis Bromfield.

S28 WWBD- What Would Bromfield Do?

Louis Bromfield was an Ohio native who built Malabar Farm in Richland County Ohio in 1939. Bromfield was a writer and conservationist who cared about the env...

STEVE HAYES: Tired Old Queen at the Movies - THE RAINS CAME

THE RAINS CAME (1939) In 1939, every studio in Hollywood was in a panic over how to compete with GONE WITH THE WIND. Darryl F. Zanuck at 20th Century Fox, bo...

3804 videos foundNext > 

6 news items

Mansfield News Journal

Mansfield News Journal
Sat, 27 Sep 2014 16:26:15 -0700

LUCAS – Ellen Bromfield Geld, daughter of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield, said she always likes to come back to Mansfield. Bromfield Geld, who has lived in Brazil since 1953, and her husband, Carson, brought with them two of ...

Chillicothe Gazette

Chillicothe Gazette
Sun, 05 Oct 2014 13:37:30 -0700

Among our favorite books during those years was the classic “Pleasant Valley” by Louis Bromfield, but it wasn't until this past September that we finally visited the subject of this book: Bromfield's lovely Malabar Farm near Mansfield. Now a state park ...
 
Community Common
Sun, 05 Oct 2014 13:37:30 -0700

Now a State Park, Malabar Farm was once an abandoned farm with exhausted soil, not unlike GoodSeed Farm when we first purchased it in 1997. Louis Bromfield made his fortune as a successful fiction writer in the 1920's and 30's, but he never forgot his ...

Bucyrus Telegraph Forum

Bucyrus Telegraph Forum
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 19:00:32 -0700

His grandfather's friend was Louis Bromfield, and Jim went to their farm as a little boy with his grandfather to visit Louis. Jim's Uncle Charles Hunt served on the school board so that was how Jim learned of the teaching position. His Aunt Betty Hunt ...

Columbus Dispatch

Columbus Dispatch
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 03:58:39 -0700

His favorite piece, Weaver said, might be a 1938 letter from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield, who, having lived in France for 13 years, describes his plan to return to his home near Mansfield in 1939 . (Expatriates such as Bromfield ...
 
Morrow County Sentinel
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 18:26:47 -0700

Malabar Farm, located in Richland County, was the dream of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Louis Bromfield. Today, visitors can see the house and farm existing just as they did in Bromfield's time. Tours of Louis Bromfield's Big House are at noon, 2 ...
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