Agee, James (Rufus) (b Knoxville, Tenn., 27 Nov 1909; d New York City, 16 May 1955). Essayist, poet, and novelist. After graduating from Harvard University in 1932 he moved to New York City to work as a reporter for Fortune. He took a basement apartment at 38 Perry Street in Greenwich Village and had an office on the 52nd floor of the Chrysler Building, where he became known for working all night while smoking cigarettes, drinking whiskey, and listening to classical music. He published a volume of poetry, Permit Me Voyage, in 1934. In 1936 he received a commission from the magazine to write a series of articles about tenant farming in the South; the result was an impressionistic mixture of prose and poetry that was 10 times longer than required. After the magazine relinquished the rights to the story, Agee worked alone to complete it, living at times in Brooklyn, as well as in Frenchtown and Stockton, New Jersey; Harper and Brothers provided a small advance but dropped the project after receiving the revised manuscript. Financially ruined and drinking heavily, Agee lived at 322 West 15th Street from 1939 until 1941 when he began working for Time. His book was published by Houghton Mifflin as Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. He lived at 172 Bleecker Street from the autumn of 1941 until 1951, and in the mid- 1940s he worked in a studio at 33 Cornelia Street. His fi lm reviews for Time and the Nation were among the most influential in the country; he also wrote scripts for three fi lms, including The African Queen (1951) and The Night of the Hunter (1955), and the novel The Morning Watch (1950). He spent the end of his life at 17 King Street in a house built by Aaron Burr. Agee’s novel A Death in the Family was published in 1957 and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1960; a collection of his essays, Agee on Film, was published in 1958– 60. He died of a heart attack at age 45 and was buried on his family farm in Hillsdale, New York. David Madden, ed., Remembering James Agee (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1974); Lawrence Bergreen, James Agee: A Life (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1984) See also Documentary filmmaking.