George Bernard Shaw was born on July 26th, 1856 in Synge Street, Dublin. His career began modestly initially working for some years in an Estate office but a thirst for reading and knowledge moved his career to writing several novels, none of which were published for several years. He wrote as a critic for several years, mainly on the theatre where his campaigning helped moved Victorian theatre towards a more realistic form. Shaw also took up his fervent socialist views at this point, a cause he would be indelibly linked with throughout his long and productive life. An initial foray into writing a play in 1885 only came to fruition in 1892 and with it his path as one of the leading playwrights of the 20th century was set. Shaw was also a fervent Fabian and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Saint Joan in 1923 gained Shaw yet another international success. This led in 1925 to his being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for his contributions to literature. The citation praised his work as "... marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty". In 1938 he added an Academy Award for his work on Pygmalion. Shaw remains the only person ever to win a Nobel Prize and an Oscar. He refused all other awards, even a knighthood. George Bernard Shaw died on November 2nd, 1950 at the age of 94, of renal failure precipitated by injuries incurred by a fall whilst pruning a tree.
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by George Bernard Shaw
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