Jean Lee Latham

Jean Lee Latham (April 19, 1902 June 13, 1995) was an American writer who specialized in biographies for children or young adults. She was born in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Her father was a cabinetmaker and her mother was a teacher. She attended West Virginia Wesleyan College and received an A.B. in 1925. She also attended Ithaca Conservatory. While in Wesleyan College, she wrote plays. In Ithaca, she taught English, history and play production. She continued teaching in Ithaca after finishing her studies at Cornell. Her first book for children was The Story of Eli Whitney. Her book Carry On, Mr. Bowditch won the Newbery Medal in 1956.

WorldCat reports that 12 of her 13 books most widely held in participating libraries are biographies of Bowditch (fictionalized), Whitney, Samuel Morse, Rachel Carson, Elizabeth Blackwell, Francis Drake, Cyrus W. Field, Sam Houston (two, one brief and one fictionalized), David Farragut, John Ericsson, and James Cook. The other, This dear-bought land (1957), features "a fifteen-year-old boy [who] joins the expeditionary force that hopes to establish a permanent English colony in Virginia."[1]


  1. "Latham, Jean Lee". WorldCat. Retrieved 2013-02-08.

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