Titles by the Author
Jack Conroy was born in Moberly, Missouri in December 1899. He grew up in that coal mining area and lost his father and two brothers to the mines. Although he never went to high school, he took correspondence courses and spent a short time at the University of Missouri, where he refused to take part in the compulsory R.O.T.C. He then set out, traveling about the midwest and taking laboring jobs when he could. In the late Twenties, he went north to find work in the automobile factories.
By the time the Depression hit, Conroy had done quite a lot of writing and editing. Encouraged by H. L. Mencken to write an autobiography, he settled in Toledo to do just that. Soon afterwards, however, he was laid off - as were many others at that time - from his part-time job at an automobile plant. Conroy returned to Missouri and worked on his book there. When it was completed, it was rejected by fourteen publishers until Covici Friede asked him to reshape it into a novel. That novel, The Disinherited, was published in 1933.
The novel was greeted with fanfare by the left wing as a great piece of proletarian writing, "a victory against Capitalism," according to Michael Gold of The New Masses. But Conroy, though working-class, was not truly proletarian (he was a lover of romance poetry), and never much of a Marxist.
His second novel, A World to Win (1935), never sold well. His writing since has comprised several articles and juvenile fiction. He has also worked as an editor for a number of reference books.