Louis Adamic

Louis Adamic

American writer and translator of Slovenian origin.
Date of Birth: 23.03.1899
Country: USA

Biography of Louis Adamic

Louis Adamic was an American writer and translator of Slovenian descent. Born in the village of Grosuplje, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time, Adamic grew up as the oldest son in a peasant family. Due to his family's circumstances, he did not receive a proper education in a city school. However, in 1909, he enrolled in a general education school in Ljubljana. During his third year of study, he joined a secret society associated with the Yugoslav Nationalist Movement, which had spread in the South Slavic regions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In November 1913, Adamic participated in a demonstration, was arrested, and imprisoned, resulting in his expulsion from school. He was also prohibited from attending any higher educational institutions in the empire. He was assigned to the Ljubljana Jesuit school but never attended it. Later, Adamic wrote, "Enough of school for me, I'm going to America." On December 31, 1913, at the age of 14, Adamic emigrated to the United States.

Louis Adamic

Initially, he settled in the Croatian community near the city of San Pedro, California. In 1918, he obtained citizenship. He started working as a laborer and eventually joined the staff of the Slovenian newspaper Golos Natsii (Voice of the Nation) in New York. He served in the American army on the Western Front during World War I. After the war, Adamic worked as a journalist and began writing. All of his works were based on his experiences as a worker in the United States, comparing it to peasant life in Slovenia.

In 1934, Adamic gained recognition with the publication of his book "The Native's Return," which became a bestseller and was addressed to the regime of Yugoslav King Alexander I. This book provided Americans with an understanding of life in the Balkans. In 1932, he received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. During World War II, he supported the liberation movement in Yugoslavia and founded the Committee of Yugoslav Americans, which supported Tito. Starting from the 1940s, Adamic served as the editor of the journal Common Ground.

Adamic's deteriorating health burdened him, and he tragically took his own life in his home in Milford, New Jersey, on September 4, 1951. His death occurred during a politically tense period in Yugoslavia's history, leading to speculation in the press that his death may have been orchestrated by Balkan extremists. However, no evidence was published to support these rumors. According to John McAleer, the author of the award-winning biography of Rex Stout, it was Adamic's influence that led Stout to make his fictional detective Nero Wolfe of Montenegrin origin, which was part of Yugoslavia at the time. Stout and Adamic were friends, and Stout expressed his bewilderment over the circumstances of Adamic's death. Nevertheless, in 1954, Stout published the novel "The Black Mountain," in which Nero Wolfe returns to his homeland and investigates the murder of his old friend.