Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stella G.S. Perry (1877-1956)

Author, Social Reformer
Born December 8, 1877, New Orleans, Louisiana
Died November 7, 1956, Brooklyn, New York

Stella George Stern was born on December 8, 1877, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and attended the Southern Academic Institute, Newcomb College, and Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City, where she was class poet and a founding member of a sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi. Stella graduated from Barnard in 1898 and went directly into advertising, working for the John Wanamaker department store in New York City. Eventually she ran her own advertising agency with local and national accounts. She married George Hough Perry on September 19, 1906, and lived most of her adult life in New Jersey, New York, and San Francisco.

Stella G.S. Perry wrote poems, stories, articles, novels, and non-fiction. Her books are many, from Go to Sleep (1911), Melindy (1912), and When Mother Lets Us Act (1913) to several works of non-fiction published late in her life. Her native Louisiana was the setting of a couple of her novels, Palmetto, The Romance of a Louisiana Girl (1920) and Come Home, A Romance of the Louisiana Rice-Lands (1923). She wrote just one story for Weird Tales, "Old Roses," published in the August 1931 issue.

A suffragist, socialist, and Unitarian, Stella worked on behalf of women and children's welfare in her adopted home state of New Jersey. Her husband was appointed Director of Exploitation (yes, that was his title) at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. Stella wrote two books on the art and sculpture of the expo, one with the sculptor Alexander Calder.

Stella G.S. Perry died in Brooklyn, New York, on November 7, 1956, a month and a day short of her seventy-ninth birthday.

Stella G.S. Perry's Story in Weird Tales
"Old Roses" (Aug. 1931)

Further Reading
An Internet search for Stella G.S. Perry's name and "Alpha Omicron Pi" will result in several brief biographies of her. The Louisiana Historical Association has a lengthier biography of her at its website, here.

Author and social reformer Stella G.S. Perry (1877-1956).

A postcard for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Stella G.S. Perry compiled two books on the art of the exposition, The Sculpture and Mural Decorations of the Exposition (1915) and The Sculpture of the Exposition (1915, with A. Sterling Calder).

Thanks to Randal Everts for providing Stella G.S. Perry's place of death.
Text and captions copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

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