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Saroyan Chronology

1908: (August 31) Born in Fresno, son of Armenak and Takoohi Saroyan; brother of Henry, Zabel and Cosette.
1911: Father dies; Saroyan and siblings are placed in the Fred Finch Home (orphanage) in Oakland.
1916: Saroyan and siblings are reunited with mother in Fresno. He subsequently attends the Emerson, Longfellow, Fresno Technical, and Fresno High schools.
1925: Leaves school and embarks on writing career; works in vineyards and as a messenger and clerk-typist.
1926: Moves to San Francisco.
1928: First short story published in the Overland Monthly. Lives in New York for a brief time.
1929: Leaves New York and returns to San Francisco, where he has a series of odd jobs.
1932: Hairenik, an Armenian magazine, begins to publish his poems.
1934: Story magazine begins to publish his short stories. First collection of short stories published, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze, and is well-received by critics and the public.
1935: Tours the world and makes first trip to Armenia.
1936: Second and third collections of short stories, Inhale and Exhale and Three Times Three, published. Settles in Los Angeles and begins working as a screenwriter for the B.P. Schulberg studio.
1937: Little Children (short story collection) published.
1938: Love, Here is My Hat and The Trouble With Tigers (short story collections) published.
1939: Begins dividing time between San Francisco and New York. Two critically-acclaimed plays produced on Broadway, My Heartís in the Highlands and The Time of Your Life. Travels to Europe in the summer. Peace, It's Wonderful (new short story collection) published.
1940: Wins (and declines) the Pulitzer Prize for The Time of Your Life. My Name is Aram, autobiographical sketches with Fresno themes, published. Play, Love's Old Sweet Song, opens on Broadway.
1941: Begins working as screenwriter and director for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in Hollywood. Writes script for The Human Comedy, which eventually wins an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Saroyan's Fables published.
1942 (October): Ends relationship with MGM. Drafted into the U.S. Army; serves in Signal Corps during World War II.
1943: Marries Carol Marcus. Son Aram born. Book version of The Human Comedy appears.
1945 (September): Obtains discharge from the U.S. Army. Returns to San Francisco.
1946: Daughter Lucy born.
1947: Lives in Millneck, Long Island and briefly on a farm in Fresno.
1948: Lives briefly in New York.
1949: Divorced from Carol Marcus. Begins living in Europe.
1950: Mother passes away. Begins to write on assignment for a number of large magazines. Last major short story collection, The Assyrian, published to favorable reviews.
1951: Remarries Carol Marcus. Begins living in Malibu. Tracy's Tiger (short story in book form) published. Rosemary Clooney's hit song, "C'mon-a My House," with lyrics by Saroyan and Ross Bagdasarian, appears.
1952: The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills, another volume containing many Fresno recollections, published.
1953: Divorced again from Carol Marcus.
1955: Omnibus television series airs a dramatization of Saroyan's Fresno childhood stories, with Sal Mineo portraying the young Saroyan.
1957: Stages new Broadway play, The Cave Dwellers, which later becomes a modest success in Europe.
1958: Leaves Malibu for a trip around the world, then takes up residence in Europe again.
1959: Lives in Paris with his children; later publishes account of the time as Not Dying (1963).
1960: Makes second trip to Armenia.
1961: Teaches drama at Purdue University and purchases apartment in Paris. Publishes autobiography, Here Comes, There Goes, You Know Who.
1962: Half-hour play, "The Unstoppable Gray Fox," appears on television's General Electric Theater.
1963: Returns to New York City and briefly lives in a Third Avenue penthouse.
1964: Purchases two homes on West Griffith Way in Fresno, and begins dividing his time between them and his Paris apartment. A thirtieth-anniversary edition of Daring Young Man, with new material by Saroyan, is published.
1966: Establishes the William Saroyan Foundation.
1967: Spends August in Paris, later chronicled in Days of Life and Death and Escape to the Moon.
1968: Latter part of year spent in Fresno, described in Days of Life and Death and Escape to the Moon. Letters from 74 rue Taitbout or, Don't Go, But if You Must, Say Hello to Everyone published.
1970: Autobiographical Days of Life and Death and Escape to the Moon published.
1972: Autobiographical Places Where Iíve Done Time published.
1976: Autobiographical Sons Come and Go, Mothers Hang in Forever published. Makes third visit to Armenia. Writes final book published during his lifetime, Obituaries.
1978: Makes fourth (and final) visit to Armenia. Autobiographical Chance Meetings published.
1979: Obituaries appears. Writes Births, which appears posthumously in 1983.
1980: Makes final trip to Europe. Diagnosed with terminal cancer.
1981 : (May 18) Dies at Veterans Administration Hospital, Fresno. Shortly before passing away, he calls the Associated Press and makes his famous final statement: "Everybody has got to die, but I have always believed an exception would be made in my case. Now what?" Half of his ashes are interred at Chapel of the Light, Fresno, and half at the Armenian Pantheon in Yerevan, Armenia.