Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Harold Sinclair  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction History Non-Fiction

Born: 1907 in Chicago, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Sinclair was born in Chicago and lived the majority of his life in the Bloomington/Normal area.

Biographical and Professional Information

Harold Sinclair dropped out of Bloomington High School. In his 20's, he moved around and lived in Ocala, Florida and Chicago but returned to Bloomington to settle down to a life divided between work and late-night writing sessions in which he produced some great works of fiction.

Sinclair's lone best seller was "Horse Soldiers". It was a fictional account of Grierson's Raid, a Union cavalry advance deep into Confederate territory during General Ulysses S. Grant's 1863 Vicksburg campaign. The story was brought to the silver screen by John Ford and two of the era's biggest box office draws, John Wayne and William Holden.

Although "Horse Soldiers" was Sinclair's best-selling book, his most ambitious literary achievement was a semi-fictional trilogy -"American Years" (1938), "Years of Growth" (1940), and "Years of Illusion" (1941) - on early Bloomington history.

He wrote of Abraham Lincoln, George Rogers Clark on the frontier, about the Civil War and the Port of New Orleans. He wrote a unique book on the Bloomington, Illinois PANTAGRAPH and a novel on jazz in the South that jazz musicians read and enjoy.

Published Works Expand for more information

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