Hersey, John (Richard)(1914–93) journalist, writer; born in Tientsin, China. His parents were missionaries and after his early education in China he attended Yale (B.A. 1936) and Clare College, Cambridge, England. He was briefly Sinclair Lewis's personal secretary (1937), then went to work as a journalist and editor for several New York magazines. During World War II he saw considerable action as a correspondent and he drew on his experiences for several of his works, including the novel A Bell for Adano (1944) (which also became a play and a movie). His greatest impact came from his documentary-style account, Hiroshima (1946), the first work to reveal to the general public the true horrors of a nuclear war. He taught at Yale for many years starting in 1950 and continued to publish his fiction and nonfiction.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.