Max Ehrmann

Max Ehrmann [REF] was born in Terre Haute, Indiana on September 26, 1872. He was the fifth and last child of Maximilian Ehrmann, Sr. and Margaret Barbara Lutz Ehrmann, both of whom emigrated to the United States in the late 1840s from Bavaria, Germany.

Ehrmann received his early education from the Terre Haute Fourth
District School and the German Methodist Church. Between 1890-94 he attended De Pauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. While at De
Pauw, Ehrmann became editor of the school newspaper, Depauw Weekly.

Upon graduation, Ehrmann studied law and philosophy at Harvard and edited The Rainbow, a national college fraternity magazine. While at
Harvard, he also published his first book, A Farrago, in 1898.

Returning to Terre Haute in 1898, Ehrmann practiced law as Deputy States Attorney for two years. He then worked for a number of years as credit manager and attorney for his brother’s manufacturing business.

At the age of 40, Ehrmann left the family business and returned to writing full-time. Throughout his career, he wrote more than 20 books and pamphlets and many essays and poems that were published separately in newspapers and magazines. His most acclaimed work was

Desiderata’ originally published in 1927. This prose-poem brought Ehrmann national attention because of its identification with Adelai Stevenson and because of the confusion regarding its copyright and authorship. “Desiderata” has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers, and anthologies and was produced as a single record by Les Crane [REF] in 1971. [REF]


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