Cormac McCarthy

Name: Cormac McCarthy ( Charles Joseph McCarthy Jr. )
Born: July 20, 1933
Age: 89 years old
Died: June 13, 2023
Height: 5 Feet 10 Inches
Occupation: novelist, playwright, screenwriter
Relationship Status: was divorced
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  • Horoscope: Cancer
  • Net worth: $10 000 000
  • Nationality: American
  • Fathers name: Charles Joseph McCarthy
  • Mothers name: Gladys Christina McGrail McCarthy
  • Education: Knoxville Catholic High School; University of Tennessee
  • Weight: 78.0
  • Hair color: Grey
  • Eye color: Black
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    Cormac McCarthy: biography

    Cormac McCarthy was an American novelist and playwright known for his dark and often violent storytelling. McCarthy's writing is characterized by its sparse and poetic style, exploring themes of human nature, morality, and the struggle for survival in harsh environments.

    Childhood and youth

    Cormac McCarthy was born on July 20, 1933, in Providence, Rhode Island. He was the third of six children in a Catholic family. Not much is known about his childhood and youth, as McCarthy is known for keeping his personal life private.

    McCarthy's family moved frequently during his early years, living in various cities across the United States, including Knoxville, Tennessee, and Chicago, Illinois. These experiences likely influenced his later works, which often depict the American landscape and its people.

    Young Cormac McCarthy
    Young Cormac McCarthy / Facebook

    In 1951, McCarthy enrolled at the University of Tennessee, where he studied liberal arts. During this time, he developed an interest in writing and literature. He published his first short story in 1959, titled "A Drowning Incident," which appeared in The Phoenix, the university's literary magazine.

    After completing his undergraduate studies, McCarthy attended the University of Tennessee's Graduate School. However, he left without obtaining a degree and moved to Chicago, where he worked in various jobs, including as an auto mechanic and a bartender. This period of his life was marked by financial struggles and a sense of isolation.

    Cormac McCarthy's childhood and youth remain somewhat mysterious, as he rarely discusses personal details in public. However, his experiences and observations during these formative years undoubtedly played a role in shaping his unique writing style and thematic interests.

    Writing career

    Cormac McCarthy's writing career spans several decades and is marked by a distinctive and influential body of work. His writing is characterized by its lyrical prose, stark realism, and exploration of existential themes. McCarthy's novels often delve into the darker aspects of human nature and depict characters grappling with morality, violence, and the struggle for survival.

    After the publication of his first novel, "The Orchard Keeper" in 1965, McCarthy continued to refine his craft and explore different genres and settings. His subsequent novels, including "Outer Dark" (1968) and "Child of God" (1973), received critical acclaim for their vivid and haunting portrayals of characters on the margins of society.

    However, it was McCarthy's novel "Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West" (1985) that brought him broader recognition and established his reputation as a formidable writer. This epic and brutal tale set in the American West during the 19th century delves into the darkest aspects of human nature and the unrestrained violence of the frontier.

    In the 1990s, McCarthy embarked on his acclaimed Border Trilogy, consisting of "All the Pretty Horses" (1992), "The Crossing" (1994), and "Cities of the Plain" (1998). These novels explore the borderland between the United States and Mexico, delving into themes of love, loss, and the clash of cultures. "All the Pretty Horses" received the National Book Award for Fiction and brought McCarthy wider mainstream success.

    "No Country for Old Men" (2005) further solidified McCarthy's status as a master storyteller. This gripping novel follows a hunter who stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong, leading to a cat-and-mouse pursuit across the Texas-Mexico border. The book was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film by the Coen brothers.

    Cormac McCarthy
    Cormac McCarthy / Facebook

    However, it was McCarthy's novel "The Road" (2006) that catapulted him to international acclaim. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the story follows a father and his young son as they navigate a desolate landscape, facing immense challenges and moral dilemmas. "The Road" won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2007 and cemented McCarthy's position as one of the most influential and celebrated contemporary American authors.

    In 2012, Cormac McCarthy sold his screenplay "The Counselor" to producers who had previously worked on the film adaptation of his novel "The Road." Directed by Ridley Scott, the film was released in 2013 to mixed reviews. Mark Kermode of The Guardian called it "datedly naff," while Peter Travers of Rolling Stone described it as a "droning meditation on capitalism." However, Manohla Dargis of The New York Times found it "terrifying" and "seductive." The critical reception to "The Counselor" was polarized, reflecting varying opinions on its merits.

    McCarthy served as a trustee for the Santa Fe Institute (SFI), a research center focused on studying complex adaptive systems. Despite lacking a scientific background, McCarthy's unique perspective aligned well with the SFI's interdisciplinary approach. In 2017, he published his first piece of nonfiction writing titled "The Kekulé Problem," where he analyzed the unconscious mind and the origins of language through the lens of August Kekulé's dream.

    In 2015, McCarthy announced his next novel, "The Passenger," during a multimedia event hosted by the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe. Influenced by his interactions with scientists, the book has been described as a "mathematical and analytical novel" by SFI biologist David Krakauer. In March 2022, it was reported that "The Passenger" would be released on October 25, 2022, followed by a companion novel titled "Stella Maris" on November 22. Notably, "Stella Maris" marks McCarthy's return to featuring a female protagonist, the first time since his novel "Outer Dark."

    Throughout his career, McCarthy's writing was praised for its evocative language, philosophical depth, and unflinching exploration of the human condition. His works had garnered numerous awards and accolades, including the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

    Personal life

    McCarthy was married three times. His first wife was Lee Holleman, with whom he had one son. After their divorce, he married Anne DeLisle in 1961, and they had a son and a daughter together before divorcing in 1962. In 1997, McCarthy married Jennifer Winkley, a writer and researcher. They have one son together. They divorced in 2006.

    The author maintained a reclusive lifestyle, and he was known to live a quiet and solitary existence. He had spent much of his life residing in remote areas, including Tennessee, Texas, and New Mexico. McCarthy had a deep appreciation for nature and often incorporated vivid descriptions of the natural world into his writings.


    McCarthy passed away peacefully in his residence in Santa Fe on June 13, 2023, due to natural causes, at the age of eighty-nine. Reflecting on McCarthy's immense literary prowess, Stephen King remarked that he was "arguably the greatest American novelist of my generation... With a remarkable legacy of work, he lived a long and fruitful life, yet his departure still fills me with sorrow."



    • "The Orchard Keeper" (1965)
    • "Outer Dark" (1968)
    • "Child of God" (1973)
    • "Suttree" (1979)
    • "Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West" (1985)
    • "All the Pretty Horses" (1992)
    • "The Crossing" (1994)
    • "Cities of the Plain" (1998)
    • "No Country for Old Men" (2005)
    • "The Road" (2006)
    • "The Sunset Limited" (2006)
    • "The Passenger" (unpublished, but excerpts released in 2020)


    • "The Stonemason" (1994)
    • "The Sunset Limited" (2006)


    • "The Gardener's Son" (1976)
    • "The Counselor" (2013)

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