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Orville Prescott Edit Profile

journalist , literary critic , writer

Orville Prescott was an American author and reviewer for the New York Times.


Mr. Prescott was born on September 8, 1906, in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. He was a son of Orville Wilbur and Eda (Sherwin) Prescott.


Orville Prescott was educated at Williams College from which he earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1930. In 1963 he received his Doctor of Laws dagree from the same college.


Mr. Prescott worked as a managing editor, researcher, and sports, art, and book columnist beginning with the Cleveland Town Tidings in 1931, and Newsweek soon after. From 1936 to 1947 Mr. Prescott worked for Cue as a book reviewer, and freelanced for other publications, before joining the New York Times in 1942. He published In My Opinion: An Inquiry into the Contemporary Novel, a 1952 volume on literary criticism, followed by the autobiographical Five-Dollar Gold Piece: The Development of a Point of View. Mr. Prescott also wrote about history, and edited books of short stories, history, prose, and poetry.


  • Orville Prescott made a name for himself as a literary critic on staff at the New York Times for more than twenty-four years.



  • Authors League , United States

  • Society of America Historians , United States

  • Century Association Club , United States

  • Country Club New Canaan , United States

  • Yeamans Hall Club , United States


Orville Prescott married Lilias Ward-Smith on November 1, 1933. They had two children: Peter Sherwin, Jennifer (Mistress Edward C. McLean, Junior).

Orville Wilbur Prescott - American

Eda (Sherwin) Prescott - American

Peter Sherwin Prescott - American

Jennifer (Mistress Edward C. McLean Prescott - American

Lilias Ward-Smith - American