Francis "Frank" McCourt (August 19, 1930 – July 19, 2009) was an Irish-American teacher and writer. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his novel Angela's Ashes, a tragicomic memoir of the misery and squalor of his childhood.
Frank McCourt was born in New York City's Brooklyn borough, on 19 August 1930 to Malachy McCourt, an ex-IRA man from Moneyglass, Antrim (1899–1985), and Irish Catholic mother Angela Sheehan from Limerick (1908–1981). Frank McCourt lived in New York with his parents and four younger siblings: Malachy, born in 1931; twins Oliver and Eugene, born in 1932; and a younger sister, Margaret, who died just seven weeks after birth, in 1935. In the midst of the Great Depression, the family moved back to Ireland. Unable to find steady work in Belfast or Dublin and beset by Malachy Senior's alcoholism, the McCourt family returned to their mother's native Limerick, where they sank even deeper into poverty. They lived in a rain-soaked slum, the parents and children sharing one bed together, McCourt's father drinking away what little money they had. The twins Oliver and Eugene died in early childhood due to the squalor of their circumstances, and two more boys were born, Michael, who now lives in San Francisco, and Alphonsus, who lives in Manhattan. Frank McCourt himself nearly died of typhoid fever when he was 11.
McCourt related that when he was 11, his father left Limerick to find work in the factories of wartime Coventry, England, rarely sending back money to support his family. Eventually McCourt recounts that Malachy Senior abandoned Frank's mother altogether, leaving her to raise her four surviving children, on the edge of starvation, without any source of income. Frank's school education ended at age 13, when the Irish Christian Brothers ejected him. Frank then held odd jobs and stole bread and milk in an effort to provide for his mother and three surviving brothers...
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