Posted on September 14, 2022 at 12:02 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

On this day in 1964, author John Steinbeck was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

(He wasn't the only literary winner, though — poets T.S. Eliot and Carl Sandburg, plus journalist Ralph McGill, received the honor in the same round.)

Johnson praised Steinbeck, who had by then won a number of awards, for helping America "to understand herself by finding universal themes in the experience of men and women everywhere."

So perhaps it stands to reason that Steinbeck would provide, in Literary Hub's words, an example of excellent parenting in the form of a letter to his son Thom.

Thom, at age fourteen, confessed to his father that he was in love with his classmate Susan; you can read a passage from Steinbeck's response at Lit Hub.

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Categories: Today in Books

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