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Biography of Graham Greene

Photo of Graham Greene

Graham Greene was a twentieth century novelist.

When and Where was he Born?

2nd October 1904, Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, England.

Family Background:

Graham Greene was the son of the Headmaster of Berkhamstead School.


Berkhamstead School, which he ran away from Balliol College, Oxford University.

Timeline of Graham Greene:

1925: Greene produces “Babbling April”, a book of verse.

1926: He becomes a Roman Catholic. Begins working as a Sub-Editor for “The Times” newspaper.

1927: He marries Vivienne Dayrell-Browning in October.

1929: Publication of “The Man Within”.

1932: Greene begins reviewing books for “The Spectator” magazine.

1934: He goes on the first of his major travels, this time to Liberia. Begins writing film critiques for “The Spectator”.

1937: Becomes a co-editor and film critic for the journal “Night and Day”. Travels to Mexico.

1939: He writes his first film script.

1940: Becomes Literary Editor and Drama Critic for “The Spectator” and work for the Ministry of Information during the Second World War.

1941: He wins the Hawthorden prize for his novel “The Power and the Glory”. Works for the Foreign Office in Sierra Leone.

1943: He returns to London still working for the Foreign Office.

1940: Greene becomes a Director at the publishers firm of Eyre and Spottiswood.

1945: Becomes a book reviewer for the London newspaper the “Evening Standard”.

1948: He speaks at Les Grandes Conference Catholique in Brussels. Visits Czechoslovakia and then Vienna which is to appear so effectively in “The Third Man”.

1949: He wins the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for the novel “The Heart of the Matter”.

1951: He makes a visit to Indochina.

1952: Greene wins the Catholic Literary Award for “The End of the Affair”. Visits Indochina again to work for the magazine “Paris Match”.

1953: Visits Kenya for the newspaper the “Sunday Times”.

1954: He is sent by “The Sunday Times” to Indochina. Also visits Haiti and Cuba.

1955: Visits Indochina and Poland for “The Sunday Times”.

1956: Back in Haiti.

1957: He visits, Cuba, China and Russia.

1958: Greene visits Cuba and becomes a director of the publishing firm The Bodley Head.

1959: He visits Cuba and the Congo.

1961: Greene is made an Honorary Associate of the American Institute of Arts and Letters. Visits Tunis and Russia.

1962: He is given an Honorary Degree by Cambridge University.

1963: He becomes an Honorary Fellow of his old college, Balliol, Oxford. Visits Cuba and Haiti again, Goa and also East Berlin.

1965: Visits the Dominican Republic.

1966: He settles in Antibes, France, where he is to live for the rest of his life.

1967: Greene is awarded an Honorary degree by the University of Edinburgh. Visits Israel for “The Sunday Times” and Sierra Leone and Dahomey.

1968: He wins the Shakespeare Prize in Hamburg. Visits Istanbul.

1969: Greene is awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur by the French Government. He visits Paraguay, Argentina and Czechoslovakia.

1970: He visits Argentina.

1973: He wins the Thomas More Medal.

1976: He visits Panama.

1977: Greene becomes a member of the Panamanian delegation to Washington for the signing of the Treaty for the Panama Canal.

1978: He becomes an honorary citizen of Anacapri on the Island of Capri, Italy. He also visits Belize and Ulster.

1979: He is given an Honorary Degree by Oxford University.

1980: He is awarded the John Dos Passos Prize by the City of Madrid. Visits Panama and Nicaragua.

1981: He is awarded the Jerusalem Prize in Israel.

1982: Greene writes the pamphlet “J’ Accuse” which starts an altercation with the city authorities in Nice.

1983: He is awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Vasco Nunez de Balboa in Panama.

1984: He becomes a Companion of Literature at the Royal Society of Literature in London and Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in France.

1985: He visits Nicaragua.

1988: Greene is honoured by Moscow University.

1990: He publishes “The Last Word and Other Stories”.

When and Where did he Die?

3rd April 1991, Hopital de la Providence, Vevey, Switzerland of leukaemia.

Age at Death:


Written Works:

1932: “Stamboul Train”.
1934: “It’s a Battlefield”.
1935: “England Made Me”. “Journey Without Maps.” (Travel Book).
1938: “Brighton Rock”.
1939: “The Confidential Agent”.
1940: “The Power and the Glory”.
1943: “The Ministry of Fear”.
1948: “The Heart of the Matter”.
1951: “The End of the Affair”.
1953: “The Living Room”. (Play).
1955: “Loser Takes All”.
1957: “The Potting Shed”. (Play).
1958: “Our Man in Havana”.
1959: “The Complaisant Lover”
1961: “A Burnt Out Case”.
1964: “Carving a Statue”.
1966: “The Comedians”.
1969: “Travels with My Aunt”. “Collected Essays”.
1971: “A Sort of Life” (Autobiography).
1973: “The Honorary Consul”.
1978: “The Human Factor”.
1980: “Doctor Fischer of Geneva, or the Bomb Party”. “The Ways of Escape”. (Autobiography – Second part).


October 1927 to Vivienne Dayrell-Browning. Became separated but not divorced.

Site of Grave:

Cemetery in Corseaux, Switzerland.

Places of Interest:


The British Library.



Further Information:

Graham Green Birthplace Trust, c/o K. Sherwood, Rheniugulak,Wig House Lane, Berkhamsted, Herts, HP4 2PP.