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This Day in Georgia History

August 05, 1889

Conrad Aiken Born

To view the Conrad Aiken historical marker, see the Digital Library of Georgia.

Noted poet and writer Conrad Aiken was born in Savannah. At age 11, his father killed his mother and then committed suicide, after which young Aiken went to live with a distant relative in Massachusetts. While attending Harvard, he met T.S. Eliot and other great writers. Here, he threw himself into poetry. In 1914, two years after graduation, Aiken’s first collection of poetry was published. Other volumes followed, though he soon also began writing stories and novels. In 1930, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his previous year’s work, Selected Poems. In the following decades, Aiken won numerous other awards and recognitions, and in 1973 Gov. Jimmy Carter designated him as Georgia’s poet laureate. Shortly afterwards, on Aug. 17, 1973, Aiken died in Savannah.