John_Dos_PassosAmerican writer John Dos Passos was among the cadre of artists often referred to as 'The Lost Generation'. Born in Chicago, Dos Passos was the illegitimate son of a wealthy attorney who disavowed his son until the age of 14. Nonetheless, he ensured that his son received the best education. Thus, Dos Passos attended The Choate School in 1907 and graduated from Harvard University in 1916, after which he traveled to Spain to study art and architecture.

Before the U.S. entered WWI, Dos Passos along with E.E. Cummings served in the French Army, but was later assigned to the U.S. Army Medical Corps. The intensity of the war experience resulted in two novels that established Dos Passos as a writer. The first was published in 1920, One Man's Initiation: 1917 and the next was Three Soldiers (1921). 

By 1925, Dos Passos was an established writer and also a social revolutionary. He became interested in Communist theory and spent time in Russia and Spain. By the late 1920s however, he had soured on Communism after witnessing Stalin's purges, and distanced himself from Hemingway and others who remained committed to such ideals. 

The rise of socialist thought in the 1930s made Dos Passos' works less popular and he slowly transitioned into a career as a journalist. Towards the end of his career, Dos Passos married for a second time and settled in Baltimore, where he lived until his death in 1970. Over his long and successful career, he wrote forty-two novels, as well as poems, essays, and plays, and created more than 400 pieces of art.

Dos Passos' socialist writings as well as his involvement in the Spanish Civil War made him unpopular with the Nazi's.