He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry". His father, Henry Ware Eliot (1843–1919), was a successful businessman, president and treasurer of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company in St Louis; his mother, Charlotte Champe Stearns (1843–1929), wrote poetry and was a social worker, a new profession in the early 20th century.
Eliot was the last of six surviving children; his parents were both 44 years old when he was born.
It was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language, including The Waste Land (1922), "The Hollow Men" (1925), "Ash Wednesday" (1930), and Four Quartets (1943).
He was also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Cocktail Party (1949).
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