January 27th, 2010 | Uncategorized

Author Louis Auchincloss ’39 dies at 92

The writer Louis Auchincloss ’39, who is most famous for his novels about aristocratic, old-money New Yorkers, died Tuesday night at age 92. He had suffered from complications of a stroke, The New York Times reported today.

Auchincloss, who came to Yale in 1935 after graduating from the Groton School but left before his senior year to go to the University of Virginia law school, was “one of America’s pre-eminent novelists of manners and a portraitist of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant upper crust,” according to the Times.

At Yale, he wrote stories for the literary magazine of the time and wrote a novel about a Manhattan socialite based on “Madame Bovary”—though after the book was rejected by a publisher, he decided to abandon his literary ambitions and become a Wall Street lawyer instead.

Though he did become a lawyer, and said he liked it, he also served in the Navy before becoming a full-fledged author. And he may have never graduated from Yale, but he once explained his reasons for writing the novel “Honorable Men,” about a young man who resigns from Lyndon Johnson’s administration during the Vietnam War, by saying: “I used to say to my father, ‘Everything would be all right if only my class at Yale ran the country.’ Well, they did run the country during the Vietnam War, and look what happened!”