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Michener, James

James A. Michener (1907-1997) graduated from Swarthmore College and continued his studies at many institutions at home and abroad. His first book, Tales of the South Pacific, was published when he was forty. In the course of the next forty-five years Mr. Michener would write such monumental best-sellers as Sayonara,The Bridges of Toko-Ri, Hawaii, The Source, Iberia, The Covenant, Centennial, Chesapeake, Space, Texas, Alaska, Poland, Caribbean and Tales of the Pacific, which was the basis for the musical SOUTH PACIFIC written by Rodgers & Hammerstein with Joshua Logan. Decorated with America's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Mr. Michener served on the Advisory Council to NASA, the Postal Committee and the operating committee for the U.S. radio network broadcasting to the former U.S.S.R. and its satellites. He held honorary doctorates in five fields from thirty leading universities and received an award from the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities for his continuing commitment to the arts in America.

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    Did you know? In James Michener?s original novel, ?Tales of the South Pacific,? Nellie comes from fictional town of Otolousa, Arkansas ? rather than Little Rock, Arkansas, as she does in the musical. Either way makes for quite a difference to Marseilles, France, where her love interest Emile de Becque originates.
    Did you know? In James Michener?s original novel, ?Tales of the South Pacific,? the tale of Ensign Nellie Forbush and her love interest Emile de Becque (?Our Heroine?) is only one of the many stories, but Rodgers, Hammerstein and Logan decided to make this story central to the musical. They incorporated other stories as subplots, including ?Fo? Dolla,? ?A Boar?s Tooth? and ?Operation Alligator.?
    The day chosen by James A. Michener to celebrate his birthday. Author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning novel "Tales of the South Pacific,"" Michener was adopted as a child, thus never certain of his birthdate. Michener grew up to serve during World War II as a navy publications officer on the island of Espiritu Santo. These experiences, which inspired him to write ""Tales of the South Pacific,"" also inspired Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Joshua Logan to adapt the novel into the musical SOUTH PACIFIC. Combined success of the novel and musical allowed Michener to spend the rest of his life writing books."