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Bierce, Ambrose (Gwinett)(1842–?1914) writer, journalist, editor; born in Horse Cave Creek, Ohio. His service in the Civil War provided him with both material for some of his finest stories and the disillusioned attitude that colored much of his writing. After the war he went to San Francisco where he worked as an editor while writing for various magazines (1866–72). He then spent three years in London as an editor (1872–75) and published many stories, old and new. Returning to San Francisco as an editor and newspaper columnist (1887–96), "Bitter Bierce" became the West Coast's leading (and dictatorial) literary arbiter before going to Washington, D.C., as a correspondent for the Hearst newspapers (1897–1909). In 1906 he published the Cynic's Word Book (later retitled The Devil's Dictionary), a collection of his sardonic-ironic definitions. Never at ease in America, he set off for Mexico in 1913, apparently to find Pancho Villa, the Mexican rebel, and was last seen that December; it is not known exactly when and how Bierce died.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
(1842–1914) acerbic journalist for San Francisco Examiner; nicknamed “Bitter Bierce.” [Am. Lit.: Hart, 77]
(1842–1914?) journalist and short story writer; disappeared into Mexico in 1913. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 294]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.