Known for movies

Short Info

DiedJuly 27, 1946, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
FactGodmother of Jack Hemingway.

Gertrude Stein was an American writer, poet, and art collector who spent most of her life in France. She was born on February 3, 1874, in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, the youngest of five children. Her father, Daniel Stein, was a successful businessman, and her mother, Amelia (née Keyserling), was a homemaker. Stein was educated at home until she was nine years old, when she was sent to a Catholic boarding school in New York City. She then attended Radcliffe College, where she studied psychology with William James.

After graduation, Stein moved to Paris with her brother Leo, where they lived for several years. While in Paris, she became interested in the avant-garde art scene and began collecting works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and other modern artists. In 1903, she met her lifelong partner, Alice B. Toklas, with whom she would live for the rest of her life.

Stein began her literary career in Paris with the publication of Three Lives (1909), a collection of short stories about working-class women in America. The book was well-received by critics and established her as a significant voice in modern fiction. She went on to publish a number of other novels, poems, and plays, including The Making of Americans (1925), which is considered her masterpiece.

In addition to her literary work, Stein was also a major figure in the development of avant-garde art in the 20th century. She was friends with many of the leading artists of her time, including Picasso, Matisse, and Ernest Hemingway. She helped to promote their work and collected their paintings and sculptures.

Stein died of cancer on July 27, 1946, at her home in France. She was 72 years old.

General Info

Full NameGertrude Stein
DiedJuly 27, 1946, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
ProfessionAuthor, Poet, Librettist
EducationJohns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Radcliffe College, Harvard University


ParentsDaniel Stein, Amelia Stein
SiblingsLeo Stein, Michael Stein


AwardsObie Award for Best Musical, Lambda Literary Award for Editor's Choice Award
MoviesParis Was a Woman

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1We are always the same age inside.
2[on imagination] It takes a lot of time being a genius--you have to sit around so much doing nothing.
3[on success] Everybody knows if you are too careful you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something.
4[on personal power] Considering how dangerous everything is, nothing is frightening.
5Money is always there but the pockets change; it is not in the same pockets after a change, and that is all there is to say about money.


1Portrayed by Kathy Bates in Woody Allen's film Midnight in Paris (2011).
2Coined the popular phrases "A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose" and "There is no there there" (said in reply to a friend talking about Oakland, CA, who said, "I'm going there").
3Her older brother Leo Stein moved to London in 1902, and she followed a few months later. They moved together to Paris in 1903, where they settled on the Left Bank, and shared a house and collected art together until 1914.
4Was a longtime friend of Ernest Hemingway, who wrote about her salon (a regular gathering of people, generally intellectuals or cultural icons, held for their mutual amusement to discuss culture, current affairs, increase the knowledge and refine the tastes of the participants, and often to bask in their own glow) in his memoir of his life in France, "A Moveable Feast".
5Godmother of Jack Hemingway.
6Long-time companion of Alice B. Toklas, who she met in 1907. They stayed together until Gertrude's death in 1946.
7She sarcastically advocated awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Adolf Hitler " . . . because he is removing all the elements of contest and of struggle from Germany. By driving out the Jews and the democratic and Left element, he is driving out everything that conduces to activity. That means peace . . . " (New York Times Magazine, May 6, 1934).
8Was of German-Jewish ancestry.
9Was an early patron of experimental painting.
10When she was three years old her parents moved the family to Vienna, Austria, then to Paris, France. They moved back to California when she was four years old (1878), settling in Oakland, where she attended school until 1891, when she was 17 and her father died.
11Attended Radcliffe College (then the woman's annex of Harvard University) from 1893 to 1897, and then two years at Johns Hopkins Medical School, where she failed two courses and left without a degree, citing boredom.



Gertrude Stein's Brewsie and Willie2012
Tender Buttons2011Short writer
Quest for Love1988novel "Q.E.D."
Three Plays by Gertrude Stein1988TV Short play
O Cinema Falado1986excerpt
Actor's Choice1970TV Series various writings - 1 episode


Classical Baby (I'm Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show2008TV Movie

Archive Footage

Paris Was a Woman1996DocumentaryHerself
The Unconquered1954DocumentaryHerself (in Louis Braille procession) (uncredited)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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