James Maxwell Anderson (December 15, 1888 – February 28, 1959) was an American playwright, author, poet, journalist and lyricist. Born in Atlantic, Pennsylvania, he was the second of eight children of William Lincoln "Link" Anderson, a Baptist minister, and Charlotte Perrimela ('Premely') Stephenson, both of Scottish and Irish descent. His family initially lived on his maternal grandmother Sheperd's farm in Atlantic, then moved to Andover, Ohio, where his father became a railroad fireman while studying to become a minister. They moved often, following Lincoln's ministerial posts. Maxwell was frequently ill, missing a great deal of school, and used his time in bed to read voraciously. Both his parents and Aunt Emma were storytellers, contributing to Anderson's love of literature.
The Andersons moved frequently, to Andover, Ohio, Richmond Center, Ohio, Townville, Pa., Edinboro, Pa., McKeesport, Pa., New Brighton, Pa., Harrisburg, Pa., to Jamestown, North Dakota in 1907, where Anderson attended Jamestown High School, graduating in 1908.
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