Sinclair, Upton, Jr.

Sinclair, Upton (Beall), Jr.

(1878–1968) social reformer, novelist; born in Baltimore, Md. A published writer even before he graduated from the City College of New York (1897), he took up writing for newspapers and completed and published several successful novels. Joining the Socialist Party (1902), he helped found the Intercollegiate Socialist Society (1905) and ran unsuccessfully for a congressional seat from New Jersey (1906). In that year his novel, The Jungle shocked the world with its exposure of conditions in the meat-packing industry in Chicago; he had expected the exposé to lead to an improvement in working conditions but instead it led to passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act, to protect consumers. He used royalties from The Jungle to help found a cooperative residence, Helicon Hall, in Englewood, N.J. He continued to publish muckraking probes of the capitalist world and for many years was prominent in California politics, running unsuccessfully for several offices as a socialist and for governor (1934) as a Democrat. Author of over 80 books that exposed alleged evils in such institutions as organized religion, the education establishment, and the press, he won a Pulitzer Prize for Dragon's Teeth (1942), the third novel in his 11-volume Lanny Budd series, and published his autobiography (1954).