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Betty Smith

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Betty Smith

Betty Smith was born Elisabeth Wehner on December 15, 1896. The daughter of German immigrants, she grew up poor in Brooklyn, a world where she re-creates in " A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."

Wehner later on married fellow Brooklynite George H.E. Smith, where they moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he was a law student at the University of Michigan. The bride son had two daughters, Nancy and Mary, and had to wait until the girls entered school before endeavoring to complete her own education. Although Smith never finished high school, she was permitted to take classes at the university, she focused on her studies in journalism, drama, writing and literature. Smith showing off her knowledge won the Avery Hopkins Award for work in drama, and had a three-year course in playwriting at the Yale Drama School.

After writing features for a Detroit newspaper, reading plays for the Federal Theatre Project, and acting in summer stock, Smith than moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina under the favors of the W.P.A. She and her first husband divorced in 1938. In 1943, she married Joe Jones, a writer, journalist, and associate editor of the Chapel Hill Weekly, while he was serving as a private in the wartime army. That same year, " A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," her first novel, was published.

The prestige of writing a best-selling, critically lauded a book brought assignments from the New York Times Magazine, which she wrote both light-hearted and serious commentary. In a December 1943 piece called "Why Brooklyn is that Way," Smith shown the core of her childhood borough's unofficial champion.

Although most readers remembered for the amazing success of that first book, Smith wrote other novels, including Tomorrow Will Be Better, Maggie-Now, and Joy in the Morning. Smith also had a long career as a dramatist, writing one-act and full-length plays for she received both



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