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Edna Ferber (August 15, 1885 – April 16, 1968) was an American novelist, short story writer and playwright. Her novels included the Pulitzer Prize-winning So Big (1924), Show Boat (1926; made into the celebrated 1927 musical), Cimarron (1929; made into the 1931 film which won the Academy Award for Best Picture), Giant (1952; made into the 1956 Hollywood movie) and Ice Palace (1958), filmed in 1960.
Ferber never married, had no children, and is not known to have engaged in a romance or sexual relationship. In her early novel Dawn O'Hara, the title character's aunt is said to have remarked, "Being an old maid was a great deal like death by drowning – a really delightful sensation when you ceased struggling." Ferber did take a maternal interest in the career of her niece Janet Fox, an actress who performed in the original Broadway casts of Ferber's plays Dinner at Eight and Stage Door.
Playwright Noel Coward bumped in to Ferber who was wearing one of her tailored suits. Coward looked her over and said, "Edna, you almost look like a man." Ferber looked Coward over and said, "So do you"
Ferber died at her home in New York City, of stomach cancer, at the age of 82.
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