Reason to Believe

It’s the birthday of playwright Arthur Miller (books by this author), born in New York City (1915). His father was the wealthy owner of a coat factory, and the family had a large Manhattan apartment, a chauffeur, and a summer home at the beach. Then, in 1928, his father’s business collapsed. He watched his parents sell their most valuable possessions, one by one, to pay the bills, until finally the family had to move in with relatives in Brooklyn. Miller had to share a bedroom with his grandfather. He was 13 years old. It was terrifying for him to watch his father go from being so powerful to being so helpless. He said, “It made you want to search for ultimate values, for things that would not fall apart under pressure.” (The Writer’s Almanac, Oct. 17, ’13).