10 Interesting Facts about Upton Sinclair

One of these following facts about Upton Sinclair might probably give you much information about him. Upton Sinclair was an American author who wrote close to one hundred books in many genres. He achieved popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, acquiring fame for his classic muckraking novel, “The Jungle” (1906). It exposed conditions in the U.S. meat packing industry, causing a public uproar that contributed in part to the passage a few months later of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. To get to know more about him, here are some other facts about Upton Sinclair you might want to know.

Facts about Upton Sinclair 1: Career

In 1904, Sinclair spent seven weeks in disguise, working undercover in Chicago’s meatpacking plants to research his political fiction expose, “The Jungle”. When it was published two years later, it became a bestseller.

Facts about Upton Sinclair 2: Helicon Home Colony

With the income from “The Jungle”, Sinclair founded the utopian Helicon Home Colony in Englewood, New Jersey. He ran as a Socialist candidate for Congress. The colony burned down under suspicious circumstances within a year.

Facts about Upton Sinclair - Upton Sinclair

Facts about Upton Sinclair – Upton Sinclair

Facts about Upton Sinclair 3: Political Career

In the 1920s the Sinclairs moved to Monrovia, California, near Los Angeles, where Sinclair founded the state’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Wanting to pursue politics, he twice ran unsuccessfully for United States Congress on the Socialist ticket: in 1920 for the House of Representatives and in 1922 for the Senate.

Facts about Upton Sinclair 4: Marriage

In 1902, Sinclair married Meta Fuller, who had been a childhood friend and whose family was one of the First Families of Virginia. The couple had a child named David, born on December 1, 1901. Around 1911, Meta left Sinclair for the poet Harry Kemp, later known as the Dunes Poet of Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Facts about Upton Sinclair - Upton Sinclair (early career)

Facts about Upton Sinclair – Upton Sinclair (early career)

Facts about Upton Sinclair 5: Second Wife

In 1913, Sinclair married Mary Craig Kimbrough, a woman from an elite Greenwood, Mississippi, family who had written articles and a book on Winnie Davis, the daughter of Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis. In the 1920s, they moved to California. They were married until her death in 1961.

Facts about Upton Sinclair 6: Dignity and Meaning

Sinclair was opposed to sex outside of marriage and he viewed marital relations as only necessary for procreation. He told his first wife Meta that only the birth of a child gave marriage “dignity and meaning”. Despite his beliefs, he had an adulterous affair with Anna Noyes during his marriage to Meta.

Facts about Upton Sinclair - The Jungle

Facts about Upton Sinclair – The Jungle

Facts about Upton Sinclair 7: Writing

Sinclair devoted his writing career to documenting and criticizing the social and economic conditions of the early twentieth century in both fiction and non-fiction. He exposed his view of the injustices of capitalism and the overwhelming impact of the poverty. He also edited collections of fiction and non-fiction.

Facts about Upton Sinclair 8: The Jungle

His novel based on the meatpacking industry in Chicago, “The Jungle”, was first published in serial form in the socialist newspaper “Appeal to Reason”, from February 25, 1905 to November 4, 1905. It was published as a book by Doubleday in 1906.

Facts about Upton Sinclair - With his wife

Facts about Upton Sinclair – With his wife

Facts about Upton Sinclair 9: Other Works

Sinclair was keenly interested in health and nutrition. He experimented with various diets, and with fasting. He wrote about this in his book, “The Fasting Cure” (1911), another bestseller. He believed that periodic fasting was important for health, saying, “I had taken several fasts of ten or twelve days’ duration, with the result of a complete making over of my health”.

Facts about Upton Sinclair 10: Film Adaptation

“The Jungle” (1906) was adapted for film in 1914, with George Nash playing Jurgis Rudkus and Gail Kane playing Ona Lukozsaite. Sinclair appears at the beginning and end of the film “as a form of endorsement.”

Facts about Upton Sinclair - Grave

Facts about Upton Sinclair – Grave

Hope you would find those Upton Sinclair facts really interesting and useful for your additional reading.

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