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Michael Dorris

(Michael Anthony Dorris)
USA (1945 - 1997)

Michael Dorris was a novelist, short story writer, nonfiction writer, and author of books for children

The first member of his family to attend college, Dorris graduated from Georgetown with honors in English and received his graduate degree in anthropology from Yale. Dorris worked as a professor of English and anthropology at Dartmouth College.

Dorris was part-Native American through the lineage of his paternal. He founded the Native American Studies department at Dartmouth in 1972 and chaired it until 1985.

In 1971, Dorris became the first unmarried man in the United States to adopt a child. His adopted son, Reynold Abel, was diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome and his condition became the subject of Dorris' The Broken Cord,(the pseudonym "Adam" is used for his son in the book).

In 1981, Dorris married aspiring writer Louise Erdrich. Throughout their relationship, Erdrich and Dorris edited and contributed to each other's writing.

In 1991, Dorris' adopted son, Reynold Abel, died after being hit by a car. In 1996, Louise Erdrich separated from Dorris. On April 10, 1997, Dorris committed suicide in Concord, New Hampshire.

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