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Corey, Paul



  • Existence: 1903-1992


Paul Corey was born in the family farmhouse near Marne in Shelby County, Iowa, on July 8, 1903. He was the youngest of seven children. His father died before he was two, but his mother, with the help of her older sons, continued to operate the one hundred-sixty acre farm. When he was fourteen, he moved to Atlantic, Iowa, with his mother and one brother. He graduated from high school there in 1921. Corey attended the University of Iowa, receiving his B.A. in journalism in 1925.   Corey's first job, after graduating, was as a reporter for a trade paper in Chicago. After only a few months there, he moved to New York City where he had a variety of jobs, including work for the Encyclopedia Brittanica and the Real Estate Record and Builder's Guide. While in New York City, Corey married the poet, Ruth Lechlitner. They spent a year in Europe (1928-1929) before moving back to Cold Spring-on-Hudson, New York. There Corey pursued his writing career, while he built their house, and raised chickens for profit. His farm trilogy: Three Miles Square (1939), The Road Returns (1940), and County Seat (1941) was written and published while building that house. The Corey's only child, Anne, was also born in Cold Spring, New York.   In 1947, they moved to Sonoma, California. Here Corey built another house, while continuing his writing. He published a number of how-to books and articles for amateur home builders. He also taught a home building class at Napa College.   Paul Corey was a serious environmentalist, animal activist, and political liberal. His most consuming interest was the preservation of the mountain lion in northern California. He was also active in local efforts to spay and neuter domestic pets. A cat lover, Corey published numerous articles, stories, and books regarding feline behavior. He advocated the non-intrusive observation of animals rather than controlled scientific or laboratory testing (which he deplored). His politics remained liberal throughout his life. His was a familiar name on petitions and letters to the editor in Sonoma, protesting local politics and national policies.   Active into his last year, Paul Corey died of a cerebral hemorrhage on December 17, 1992, at the age of 89.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Paul Corey Papers

Identifier: MsC0585

Writer Three Miles Square (1939), environmentalist, and animal activist. Correspondence, subject files, scrapbooks, and preliminary drafts of writings.

Dates: 1920 - 1992