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Andre Norton

Andre Norton (1912-2005)
Alice Mary Norton was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Her parents were Adalbert Freely Norton, who owned a rug company, and Bertha Stemm Norton. She began writing at Collinwood High School in Cleveland, under the tutelage of Miss Sylvia Cochrane. She was the editor of a literary page in the school's paper called The Collinwood Spotlight for which she wrote short stories. During this time, she wrote her first book-Ralestone Luck, which was eventually published as her second novel in 1938, the first being The Prince Commands in 1934. After graduating from high school in 1930, Norton planned to become a teacher and began studying at Flora Stone Mather College of Western Reserve University. However, in 1932 she had to leave because of the Depression and began working for the Cleveland Library System, where she remained for 18 years, latterly in the children's section of the Nottingham Branch Library in Cleveland. In 1934, she legally changed her name to Andre Alice Norton, a pen name she had adopted to increase her marketability, since boys were the main audience for fantasy. From 1940 to 1941, she worked as a special librarian in the cataloguing department of the Library of Congress, involved in a project related to alien citizenship. The project was abruptly terminated upon the American entry into World War II. In 1941, she bought a bookstore called the Mystery House in Mount Rainier, Maryland. The business failed and she returned to the Cleveland Public Library until 1950. Then she began working as a reader for publisher and editor Martin Greenberg at the Gnome Press company, where she remained until 1958, after which she became a full-time professional author.