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Profile of the Day: Pearl S. Buck

On this day in 1892, author Pearl S. Buck was born. In 1938, Buck became the first American woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Profile of the Day: Pearl S. Buck

Pearl Buck / Library of Congress

Buck was born Pearl Sydenstricker in Hillsboro, West Virginia on June 26, 1892 to Southern Presbyterian missionaries, Absalom and Caroline Sydenstricker. When Buck was 5 months old, the family moved to China, where she would live for much of her life.

In 1931, Buck published her best-selling novel The Good Earth, which depicted life of a peasant family living in China. The novel became an international sensation and was translated into 30 languages. The book, the first of a trilogy, was highly acclaimed and won Buck the 1932 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In 1938, Buck received the Nobel Prize for Literature for her work, becoming the first American woman, and fourth woman overall, to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

After returning to the United States, Buck continued to write and became an outspoken advocate for the rights of women and minority groups. She was especially well known for her humanitarian work on behalf of Asian and mix-race adoption and in 1949, co-founded Welcome House, Inc., the first international, interracial adoption agency.

Buck died on March 6, 1973 from lung cancer at the age of 80.

Explore Pearl S. Buck’s family tree and share how you’re connected to the writer. Perhaps you can help expand her ancestry to better connect her to over 130 million people in Geni’s World Family Tree.

View Pearl S. Buck’s Geni Profile


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