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G.I. Bill Famous: Norman Mailer

July 18, 2012

Born in 1923 as the first child of Fanny Schneider and Isaac Barnett, Norman Mailer grew up in Brooklyn. His father worked as a bookkeeper, and as a seven-year-old, Mailer first tried to write a science fiction novel, but that didn't hold his interest until he would start writing against in his junior year at Harvard, which would become "The Greatest Thing in the World," winning Story magazine's annual award. That was when it became his obsession. From his beginnings as a bookkeeper's son to his days in World War II, Norman Mailer is an inspiring novelist who was able to get an education through his G.I. Bill.

Mailer began his military career as an infantryman in the Philippines during World War II. He then went on to serve in the U.S. occupation of Japan. With his G.I. Bill, he enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris once finished with his military duties.

Politics was also one of Mailer's passions. He leaned far to the left when he first began studying at the Sorbonne. It was here that he met Trotskyite writer Jean Malaquais, who thus encouraged Mailer to go deeper into the theory of socialism. It was through his political views that Mailer became a revolutionary, a so-called "Psychic Outlaw" who would create Advertisements for Myself. As quoted, Mailer would "settle for nothing less than making a revolution in the consciousness of our time."

Mailer was one of the first great Americans to use the G.I. Bill after World War II. He wanted to use his education for the purpose at bettering himself, thus allowing him to better others through his writings and speeches. His literary career held many of the best sellers for Times, including The Castle in the Forest. His words continue to be renown throughout the world. In all, Mailer wrote 40 books and published 11 novels in 59 years.

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