Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash was born on August 19, 1902 in Rye, New York. His parents were Edmund Strudwick Nash and Mattie Chenault. As a boy, Nash attended St. George’s School in Middletown, Rhode Island.

Since Nash’s father owned an import-export company, the family often changed residences. So, in his younger years, Nash spent time in a number of East Coast locations and also lived in Savannah, GA for a time.

In 1920, he enrolled at Harvard College, but only remained there for a year because, unfortunately, his family was suffering with financial troubles at the time.

He then worked at a number of different positions that included bond salesperson, schoolteacher, copywriter, and editor. In 1925, he began writing advertising copy for Doubleday Publishing in New York. That same year, he co-wrote his first book for children, The Cricket of Caradon.

In 1930, Nash’s first published poem, Spring Comes to Murray Hill, appeared in the New Yorker Magazine, and in 1932, he became a staff member at that prestigious publication. He only worked there for a short time as he decided to devote all of his time to poetry. The following year, Hard Lines, Nash’s first poem collection, was published.

In 1933, Ogden Nash married Frances Rider Leonard who was from Baltimore, Maryland. Nash relocated to Baltimore and he, his wife, and their two children made that city their family home.

In 1943, Nash co-authored three screenplays for MGM and co-authored One Touch of Venus, which exploded as a Broadway hit.

Nash was responsible for a large number of works including The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus (1957), Girls are Silly (1962), and Custard the Dragon (1959). Poetry was his passion and, in all, he is credited with writing 19 books of poetry.

Nash achieved international prominence for his talent and is best known for being a satirist and author of light verse that was pithy and funny. He became a radio and TV celebrity in the United States and England and also built a reputation for giving readings and lectures on topics related to his writings. With an established, formidable body of work in place, Nash died in Baltimore on May 10, 1971.