Joan Didion Biography

Quick Facts About Joan Didion

Celebrated Name Joan Didion
Age 87 Years
Nick Name Joan
Birth Name Joan Didion
Birth Date 1934-12-05
Gender Female
Profession Actress and Writer
Nationality American
Place Of Birth Sacramento, California, U.S.
Ethnicity American-white
Birth Nation America
Religion Christian
Race White
Horoscope Sagittarius
Parents Frank Reese Didion (father and Eduene Didion (mother)
University University of California
Marital Status Married
Spouse John Gregory Dunne ​ ​(m. 1964; died 2003)
Children 1
Sexual Orientation Straight
Source of Wealth Writing career
Net Worth $4 million
Height 4 ft 10 in / 148 cm
Weight 99 lb / 45 kg
Hair Color Blonde
Eye Color Dark brown
Body Type Slim
Death Date 2021-12-23
Links Wikipedia

Joan Didion was an American writer who launched her career in the 1960s after winning an essay contest sponsored by “Vogue” magazine. She was best known for her sociologically-themed works that explore the unraveling of American culture and morality. Her well-known works include “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” (1968), “Play It As It Lays” (1970), “Where I Was From” (2003), and “The Year of Magical Thinking” (2005). During her senior year, Joan won first place in the “Prix de essay contest sponsored by “Vogue”, and was awarded a job as a research assistant at the magazine. She had also contributed ideas and writing to the New Journalism movement and was a recipient of both the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and the National Medal of Arts and Humanities. She was also profiled in the Netflix documentary “The Center Will Not Hold” in 2017. Additionally, Didion published “Let Me Tell You What I Mean” in 2021 which is a collection of 12 essays she wrote between 1968 and 2000. Sadly, we lost such a talented icon on 23rd December 2021.

Joan Didion Dies at 87

Joan Didion, whose mordant dispatches on California culture and the chaos of the 1960s established her as a leading exponent of the New Journalism died on Thursday at her home in Manhattan. She was 87. The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease, according to an email sent by Paul Bogaards who is an executive at Knopf, Ms. Didion’s publisher.

Famous For

  • Being an American writer.
  • For her sociologically-themed works that explore the unraveling of American culture and morality. 

Where was Joan Didion from?

Joan Didion opened her eyes for the very first time on 5th December 1934 in Sacramento, California, U.S. She was American by nationality and American-white by ethnicity. Likewise, her religion was Christian and her race was white. Joan lastly celebrated her 87th birthday on 5th December of 2021 and as per her birth date, her sign was Sagittarius. She was born to her parents Frank Reese Didion (father) and Eduene Didion (mother).

Regarding Joan’s education, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley in 1956. 

How was the Career of Joan Didion?

  • Joan Didion kicked off her career at “Vogue” where she worked her way up from promotional copywriter to associate feature editor. While at “Vogue”, she wrote her first novel, “Run, Rive”, which was published in 1963. 
  • Then “Mademoiselle”, published Didion’s article “Berkeley’s Giant: The University of California” in January 1960 as well as she published her first work of nonfiction, “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” in 1968.
  • In 1970, her novel “Play It as It Lays”, set in Hollywood, was published and she published “The White Album” in 1979.
  • She published the novel “Democracy” and also she published “After Henry” in 1992. 
  • Later she started writing “The Year of Magical Thinking” which was a narrative of her response to the death of her husband and the severe illness of their daughter, Quintana Roo Dunne Michael, on 4th October 2004 and finished the manuscript 88 days later on New Year’s Eve.
  • Joan published “Let Me Tell You What I Mean” in 2021 which is a collection of 12 essays she wrote between 1968 and 2000. 

Awards and Achievements

  • In 1981, Didion was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
  • In 1996, she was awarded the Edward MacDowell Medal.
  • In 2002, she received the St. Louis Literary Award from the Saint Louis University Library Associates.
  • Didion was widely honored for “The Year of Magical Thinking”, which received the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2005 and the Prix Medicis Essais in 2007.
  • In 2006, she received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.
  • In 2007, Didion received the National Book Foundation’s annual Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. 
  • In 2009, Didion was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by Harvard University.
  • On 3rd July 2013, the White House announced her as one of the recipients of the National Medal of Arts, presented by President Barack Obama.

Who was Joan Didion married to?

Joan Didion was a married woman. She tied a knot with John Gregory Dunne in 1964, who was writing for “Time” magazine. Dunne was the younger brother of the author, businessman, and television mystery show host Dominick Dunne. They moved to Los Angeles, intending to stay only temporarily, but California ultimately became their home for the next 20 years. The pair gave birth to a daughter, Quintana Roo Dunne, who was born on 3rd March 1966, in New York City and was adopted later that year. Concerning Joan’s sexual orientation, she was straight.

Furthermore, Joan’s husband suffered a fatal heart attack at the dinner table and died in 2003. She delayed his funeral arrangements for approximately three months until Quintana was well enough to attend. Visiting Los Angeles after her father’s funeral, Quintana fell at the airport, hit her head on the pavement, and suffered a massive hematoma, requiring six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center. After progressing toward recovery in 2004, Quintana died of acute pancreatitis on 26th August 2005, during Didion’s New York promotion for “The Year of Magical Thinking”. She was 39. Didion later wrote about Quintana’s death in the 2011 book “Blue Nights”.

How much was Joan Didion Net Worth?

Joan Didion was a versatile woman who had a net worth of $4 million at the time of her death (2021) whereas her exact amount of salary had not been disclosed yet. Joan had earned a considerable amount of money from her profession as her major source of income was from her writing career.

What was the Height of Joan Didion?

Joan Didion stood at an ideal height of 4 ft 10 in / 148 cm with a balanced body weight of 99 lb / 45 kg. She had blonde hair and dark brown eyes color. Moreover, Joan’s body build was slim.

Did You Know?

  • Joan was raised in Sacramento, California and began writing at the age of five.
  • She graduated from the University of California-Berkeley with a degree in English and subsequently worked as an associate feature editor at Vogue Magazine.
  • She was encouraged greatly in her writing by her husband and fellow writer, John Gregory Dunne.
  • In 2017, Didion was profiled in the Netflix documentary The Center Will Not Hold.
  • She contributed ideals and writing to the New Journalism movement.