John Berryman was born October 25, 1914 in McAlester, Oklahoma, the son of John Allyn Smith, a banker, and Martha Shaver Little Smith, a schoolteacher. Berryman was raised a Catholic during his early years and served as an altar boy in his church. Just before his eleventh birthday he and his younger brother were placed in a Catholic boarding school near his hometown when his parents, along with his maternal grandmother, moved to Tampa, Florida, where they bought and operated a restaurant while speculating in the Florida land boom. Within a few months the boys joined their parents in Florida, attending public school, but in 1926 the Florida market slumped, and the Smith family lost much of their money. The restaurant was sold at a …
Smith, Ernest J.. "John Berryman". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 July 2001; last revised 30 November -1.
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