Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mark Van Doren was born on this day in Vermilion County, Illinois.
In 1920 he earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University and joined the faculty. Among his students was Lionel Trilling, who would also go on to teach at Columbia. They both taught Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Trilling also taught Robert Lax, whom Kerouac later got in touch with.
Trilling won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1940 for Collected Poems 1922–1938.
Celebrate his birthday by reading some of his sonnets here.