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Today in History (1950): Writer George Orwell Dies of Complications from Tuberculosis

"Animal Farm" and "Nineteen Eighty-Four" were George Orwell’s crowning glory. The famed novelist’s ideas and influence still ring true 64 years after his death.

George Orwell knew that he wanted to be a writer that’s why he made ends meet just to sustain his passion for letters. Orwell was a sickly child but he was quick-witted and was quite an intellectual during his days in school. He won different scholarships to continue studying and when the time came that his family couldn’t support him any longer, he enlisted with the India Imperial Police Force. After his 5 year stint in Burma, Owell was decided to pursue his dream of becoming an accomplished writer and went back to England.

He did just that with his first major work “Down and Out in Paris and London” that was released in 1933. He didn’t want his family to know about his career as a writer that’s why he published it under the name “George Orwell.” His real name was Eric Arthur Blair.

Orwell’s writing career really took off when he published his book “Animal Farm.” The book was rife with political meanings. Animal Farm was an anti-Soviet satire set in a pastoral backdrop that featured two pigs as its protagonists. It was a hit and brought about great acclaim for Orwell as well as financial rewards.

His book “Nineteen Eighty-Four” (more commonly known now as 1984) also became a hit. The book explored ideas of a fictional future with three nations that controlled society and their citizens down to the smallest details of their lives. He also explored the idea of being under surveillance by a fictional character named Big Brother. Reading some of Orwell’s words on 1984 as a college student, I’d say that it’s still pretty much relevant until today.

George Orwell didn’t enjoy much of his latter success in writing because of his failing health due to tuberculosis. He died of complications from tuberculosis on this day, 64 years ago. George Orwell the novelist and essayist was 46.

All information and photos used in this article were sourced from Biography, George Orwell Novels, Writing As I Please blog and The Bilzerian Report.

Like this article? Check out more stories from our Today in History and Throwback Thursday series.

written by cheeo

3 comments

  1. jvujnovi

    Orwell was also well-known as an essayist, writing a column called "As I Please".
    Of interest to photographers is the fact that his mother developed and printed her own photographs.

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  2. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    I was born the same day George Orwell died. The story of his that most effected me was "Shooting an Elephant".

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  3. cheeo

    cheeo

    @jvujnovi Orwell has written a lot of interesting and powerful pieces in his lifetime. It's hard to pick one as a favorite. That's a nice trivia you got there!

    @herbert-4 it was sad that Orwell passed away even before he could fully reap the fruits of his labor.

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