Booth Tarkington was born in Indianapolis, the son of John S. Tarkington and Elizabeth Booth Tarkington. He was named after his maternal uncle Newton Booth, then the governor of California. He first attended Purdue University but graduated from Princeton University in 1893. While at Princeton he was editor of the Nassau Literary Magazine and formed the Princeton Triangle Club. He was also voted the most popular man in his class. When Tarkington's class graduated in 1893 he lacked sufficient credits for a degree at Princeton, where he attended classes for two years. His later achievements, however, won him an honorary A.M. in 1899 and an honorary Litt.D. in 1918.
He was one of the most popular American novelists of his time, with The Two Vanrevels and Mary's Neck appearing on the annual best-seller lists nine times.
Read Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington, one of 21 of his works available free from Project Gutenberg.