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DE CAPITE, MICHAEL

DE CAPITE, MICHAEL (13 April 1915-21 Jan. 1958) drew upon his Cleveland background to launch a promising though short career as a novelist. The son of Italian immigrants on the near west side, he played BASEBALL in the shadows of industrial smokestacks in the FLATS and graduated from Lincoln High School. He attended Ohio Univ. in Athens, O., where he met his future wife, Natalie Whiting, and graduated in 1938. De Capite broke into writing as a newspaperman, serving as feature editor of the Claremont (N.H.) Daily Eagle and as a police reporter in Chicago. During WORLD WAR II he joined the U.S. Army, where he became a writer for Yank and the Army News Service. His first novel, Maria (1943), was based upon his memories of immigrant life during his Cleveland childhood. It was followed in 1944 by No Bright Banner, for which he drew upon his Chicago experiences. His last novel, The Bennett Place (1948), set in a fictitious Ohio college town suggestive of Athens, was awarded a $1,000 prize by the Friends of American Writers. Following the war, De Capite went to work in 1947 as an information officer for the United Nations. He was Chief of Editorial Services of the UN's Department of Public Information when he died from injuries received in an automobile accident near Mexico City. Buried near his home in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., he was survived by his wife and 2 children, Philip and Suzanne.