William Inge


May 3, 1913 – June 10, 1973

William Motter Inge was a Pulitzer and Academy award-winning playwright and novelist. Born in the heart of small-town America – Independence, Kansas – Inge’s depictions of solitude, thwarted ambition and sexuality all played starkly against the backdrop of classic Americana. As a drama critic in St. Louis, Inge was encouraged to write by Tennessee Williams. His biggest stage successes, Picnic, Bus Stop, Come Back, Little Sheba and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs earned multiple Tony nominations as well as Oscar nods and the aforementioned Pulitzer (for Picnic). Inge also won an Oscar for writing the Elia Kazan-directed film, Splendor in the Grass. All of his major plays were adapted to film. The film version of Bus Stop starred Marilyn Monroe and also spawned a short-lived television series. Inge’s later plays were not as well received and he struggled with depression.  He was a closeted homosexual and many of his characters dealt with the subject either under the surface or overtly.  His own demons caught up with him and William Inge committed suicide in 1973 at the age of 60.


Mt. Hope Cemetery – Independence, KS

Specific Location

At the southern end of the cemetery, the large INGE family stone is easy to spot.



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