Fannie Hurst was born in Ohio, grew up in St. Louis and spent her adult life in New York City. She is the author of 17 novels and more than 250 short stories, as well as plays, screenplays, memoirs, essays and articles. Her best-remembered works are those turned into films, including: Imitation of Life, Back Street, Humoresque, The Younger Generation, and Young at Heart. She was active in a variety of progressive Jewish, social justice, labor, peace and women’s organizations. A lifelong philanthropist, Hurst willed her considerable estate to her alma mater Washington University and to Brandeis University.