Famous Writers, Journalists and Poets

Indianapolis has a long history of producing famous writers, journalists and poets, and many of them, such as Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, have become enduring household names.

People of letters have the ability to shape the cultures in which they live. Indianapolis society and culture have been profoundly affected by the literary accomplishments of the talented Hoosiers who spent time there. Below is a list of the writers, journalists and poets, Indy residents all, who became famous people in Indianapolis, throughout other cities in Indiana and eventually, across the United States. Some are even recognized in various cities of the world.

Famous Writers, Journalists and Poets

  Allan David Bloom, born and raised in Indianapolis, became a well-known classic philosopher and educator and wrote the best-selling nonfiction book, The Closing of the American Mind.
  Madelyn Pugh – A graduate of Indiana University, Pugh was pioneer for female writers in the television industry, and is most known as one of the head writers of the I Love Lucy show.
  Rex Stout – Author of the incredibly popular series of Nero Wolfe detective novels, Rex Stout is a famous authoer from Noblesville, Indiana. Until his death in 1975, Stout wrote a new Nero Wolfe novel each year, an impressive feat.
  Booth Tarkington was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and lived in Naptown all his life. Tarkington wrote for the people of Indiana and is known by many as “Your Amiable Uncle.”
  Dan Wakefield is an Indianapolis born writer and journalist, who was instrumental in developing “New Journalism” in his fiction writing.
  James Whitcomb Riley was born in Greenfield, Indiana. Greenfield residents celebrate his birth with the annual Riley Festival. Later he moved to the Circle City and lived in what is now the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home. The Riley Children’s Hospital was named after him.

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