JD Salinger


Throughout the 20th century, a series of writers have emerged who have been characterized by their style and their themes and who have become emblematic figures over time. One of them is JD Salinger , a man who had a life marked by World War II and who at the same time had an incredible literary ability that would later make him one of the most important myths in modern literature.


Personal information

  • When was he born: 01/01/1919
  • Where he was born: New York, United States
  • When did he die: 01/27/2010
  • Where he died: New Hampshire, United States

Who was JD Salinger?

JD Salinger was a renowned and very important American writer who created the famous novel ” The Catcher in the Rye “, a book considered a classic in modern literature that became a cult character in modern society.

  • Biography of JD Salinger
  • Death
  • Personal life of JD Salinger
  • Style
  • Physical characteristics
  • Personality
  • Acknowledgments
  • Works by JD Salinger
  • Phrases
  • Importance of JD Salinger
  • Presence in popular culture
  • Curiosities

Biography of JD Salinger

JD Salinger was born on the first of January of the year 1919 in the city of Manhattan , New York , United States . His father, Sol Salinger , a Pole of Jewish religion who had come to the United States as an immigrant to sell food products, and his mother, Marie Jilich , a woman of Irish origin. As children he failed to excel in his studies and when he reached adolescence he decided to start writing stories. He was also at Valley Forge Military Academy located in Pennsylvania .

After entering several universities without success, and graduate as sergeant , he participated in the World War II the Normandy landings . After the war ended, he managed to publish some of his most popular stories in “The New Yorker.” Later he managed to publish The Guardian Among the Rye , a cynical novel that criticized with great acidity the hypocritical world in which adults lived seen from a sarcastic point of view of a rebellious adolescent, a book that was even censored in some parts of the world. His life unfolded practically in silence because he was a shy man who preferred to be alone, who did not like fame and who also refused to give interviews


He died on January 27, 2010 in Sullivan County, New Hampshire. The causes of his death were natural and he died when he was 91 years old.

Personal life of JD Salinger

In 1945 he married Sylvia , a French doctor, but only a year later the couple divorced. He married Claire Douglas in 1955 with whom he had a daughter named Margarita and a son known as Matt . They ended their marriage in 1967. Finally, he had a new relationship with a nurse known as Colleen O’Neil, whom he married in 1998.


In his literary style, JD Salinger is mainly focused on the dialogue and narration in third person , style applied in most of his works so that through them readers could understand the relationships that existed between the characters and how that they interacted with other people. He also used this style in order to give the audience an unbiased point of view on the story so that they could make their own judgments regarding the characters.

His style was also descriptive enough to promote the reality of thoughts and attention to detail which he complemented with speech rhythms. These rhythms divided their paragraphs by topic and also by the emphasis of thought . I used to use it to generate a greater emphasis on the mind of the reader. The criticism he made against society was extremely honest and applied it to all aspects of life without flinching.

Physical characteristics

He was a tall, thin man, with white skin and straight black hair. His eyes were a little dark brown and his eyebrows were quite prominent, as were his ears.


For many psychiatric professionals, JD Salinger had a personality disorder . He was a narcissistic man and at the same time very unstable and unbalanced . He had a lot of phobias , had a sullen character, and was very quiet . As a consequence of what he experienced during the Second World War , the author developed a neurosis that made him a chronic patient full of fears but at the same time made him a true literary genius.

He did not like to have contact with people and always rejected the fact of becoming a celebrity so he preferred to live isolated from others. His neurotic disorders apparently stemmed from his childhood, a time when he had to live with a rather strong inferiority complex . It also showed the post-traumatic sequelae that people who go to war usually present, a continuous state of alertness , major anxiety attacks , hypersensitivity and insomnia .


It was now has had an extremely important recognition, especially The Catcher in the Rye which has become a true contemporary classic . This novel, even today, continues to sell thousands of copies around the world and many authors have also dedicated themselves to writing biographies about his life as a tribute to the author.

Works by JD Salinger

Few works written by JD Salinger, however, they managed to leave an important mark in the literary field. His works are listed below.

  • The Catcher in the Rye : this was his most famous novel which at the same time caused a lot of controversy because of its provocative language and show the adolescence of directly including social problems such as bullying and sexuality. Even its protagonist, Holden Caulfield, has managed to become an icon of teenage rebellion.
  • Nine Tales – That was a collection of short stories made by the writer including the following: A Perfect Day for the Banana Fish, Just Before the Eskimo War, Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, For Esmé, with love and sordidness, In the boat, Pretty little mouth and green eyes and Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period.
  • Franny and Zooey : they are two stories set in the city of Manhattan that tells the story of the Glass brothers which was also based on the story of two young university students.
  • Raise up, carpenters, the roof beam and Seymour : An Introduction : It tells the story of two brothers. One of them performing military service during World War II which managed to obtain a permit to attend his brother’s wedding and from that moment the plot began to develop.


Some of his most recognized phrases were the following:

  • Who wants flowers when he’s dead? Nobody”.
  • “I spend the whole day saying that I am delighted to have met people who do not give a damn to me.”
  • “I’m just sick of people just liking me. I pray to God that I can meet someone I respect ”.
  • “All mothers are slightly crazy.”
  • “I’m sick of not having the courage to be absolutely nobody.”
  • “The worst part is that if you go bohemian or something crazy like that, you are conforming in the same way only in a different way.”

Importance of JD Salinger

And the style of JD Salinger made him become a writer of great importance worldwide but mainly a classic of modern American literature . She was a writer who managed to capture her unique style in her few works to be able to make an intense criticism against society.

Presence in popular culture

It is possible to find the legacy that JD Salinger inherited in Hollywood. Films like Rebel Without a Cause and Chasing Holden are films that narrate the life of a young man full of problems. His influence on American culture has been important. Another of the films inspired by him is known as Discovering Forrester and his works and stories have served as inspiration for several writers , for example, Lemony Snicket who wrote A Series of Catastrophic Misfortunes .

In 2017 , a film was also released with the name of Rebel in the Eye , an autobiographical film where the life of the writer is narrated. Even in music it has had a good influence, the musical group Guns N´Roses , was inspired by one of their works, The Guardian among the Rye to be able to create and give name to one of their songs on the album called Chinese Democracy.


Despite his fame, JD Salinger had a life full of mystery and interesting facts. His father’s family was of Jewish descent while his mother’s family was German . He was not a good student as a child and for that reason his parents decided to send him to a military academy . The love of his life was the daughter of a Jewish family who died with her parents in a Nazi concentration camp .

He was part of the well-known Normandy Landing during World War II where he worked in the counterintelligence service . He had a great interest in Buddhism and was always openly critical of Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck.

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