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Humphrey Cobb (September 5, 1899 – April 25, 1944) was a screenwriter and novelist. He is best known for writing the novel Paths of Glory, which was made into an acclaimed 1957 movie by Stanley Kubrick. Cobb was also the lead screenwriter on the 1937 movie San Quentin, starring Humphrey Bogart.

Cobb was born in Siena, Italy. He served with the Canadian Army for three years during the First World War and fought in the Battle of Amiens. Stephen E. Tabachnick, in the Afterword to the U of Georgia Press' 1987 reprint of "Paths of Glory" supplies additional details of Cobb's life and how the son of American parents, Alice Littell Cobb, a physician, and Arthur Cobb, an artist, came to be mistakenly identified as a Canadian author. It had much to do with Cobb's many years as an expatriate living in several foreign locations, and his decision to take part in World War I in 1916, well before the United States entry into the war, by joining the Canadian Army. After early childhood, Cobb's parents sent him to school in England for his primary education and only at age 13 did he come to the United States to continue his schooling. At the age of 17 he travelled to Montreal to enlist in a Canadian regiment.

Following the war, Cobb worked in the stock trade, the merchant marine, publishing, and advertising. He wrote "Paths of Glory," while employed by George Gallup at New York's Young & Rubicam advertising agency.

Cobb wrote a second not-as-well-received novel, "None But the Brave," which was serialized in "Collier's Weekly" in 1938. From 1935 to 1940 he was also employed as a screenwriter. At the time of his death Cobb was working as an advertising copywriter for the New York firm of Kenyon & Eckhardt.

Another American writer named Cobb, the unrelated Irvin S. Cobb, also wrote a World War I book called Paths of Glory (1915), a non-fiction account of Irvin's journalistic experiences during the war.[1]

Notes

  1. ^ Paths of Glory, by Irvin S. Cobb.

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