James Jones was born in southern Illinois in 1921 and grew up a child of the Great Depression. Without money for college or any other hopeful prospects for work, he joined the Army after high school, choosing to be stationed in Hawaii because his father, a WWI veteran, told him the war would never reach there. Jones was on Oahu on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. A year later, he landed on Guadalcanal with the 25th Infantry Division. His experiences in the peace time army became the basis of his novel From Here to Eternity, published in 1951 to great literary acclaim. The film version won eight Academy Awards in 1953. In 1958, Jones moved to Paris, France with his wife, Gloria. In 1963, he published the second volume of his world-renowned war trilogy, The Thin Red Line. Suffering from ill health, he returned with his family to the US in 1975. He died in 1977 in Southampton, Long Island. His last novel, Whistle, the final book of the trilogy, was published posthumously in 1978.
Born November 6, 1921 – Died May 9, 1977
From Here To Eternity premiered at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London’s West End on 30 September 2013.