Writer Theodore Dreiser lived in Glendale twice. During his first sojourn here, around 1920, he started on a book but became frustrated and departed for New York to do more research. The result, “An American Tragedy” was published to great acclaim.
After a stint in politics, Dreiser returned to Glendale with his wife, Helen. They lived in a small courtyard apartment at 253 W. Lorraine Ave.
During that time, in the early 1940s, Dreiser was working on “The Stoic,” the third book in his trilogy based on Chicago financier Charles Tyson Yerkes. The first two volumes were published much earlier: “The Financier” in 1912 and “The Titan” in 1914. Little did Dreiser know that a few years after he finished “The Stoic,” a distant relative of C.T. Yerkes also would reside in Glendale.
Dreiser, of a poor family, moved to Chicago, where he worked as a collections agent until he got a job as a reporter in 1892. Championing the cause of the poor and the helpless, he had a particular bias against the hard-driving businessman Yerkes.