Posted here as a downloadable PDF document are excerpts from the autobiography of Harold James Dies (1914-2012). Mr. Dies was related, on his mother’s side, to Theodore Dreiser’s second wife, Helen (Patges) (Richardson) Dreiser. He was Trustee of the Dreiser Trust.
The full title of the autobiography is “The Kingdom of God and the World’s Final Generation: The Life Story of Harold James Dies” (2010).
Included in the autobiography is anecdotal material related to Theodore Dreiser and his second wife Helen, as well as some information about Dreiser’s niece Gertrude Amelia Hopkins (1894-1963) that is not available elsewhere. Topics of interest discussed in the autobiography, and included in the excerpts posted below, include:
Mr. Dies’s relationship with Dreiser’s second wife Helen, whom he knew from his early years, and biographical information about her
his meeting Dreiser and some anecdotal material about Dreiser
mention of his cousin congressman Martin Dies, chairman of the House un-American Activities Committee
his relationship with Gertrude Amelia Hopkins, Dreiser’s favorite niece and the daughter of Dreiser’s sister Emma (“Sister Carrie”)
negotiations over the production of Tobias Picker’s opera “An American Tragedy”
I wish to thank Joann Crouch, Mr. Dies’s niece, who told me about this unique book and made it available to me for photocopying.
— Roger W. Smith