Max Ehrmann Centennial Memorabilia
Date: 1972
Accession Number: 910601B
Donor: Mrs. Frank Wiedemann
Description: One file folder in a document case


Max Ehrmann was born in Terre Haute, Indiana on September 26, 1872. He was the fifth and last child of Maximilian Ehrmann, Sr. and Margaret Barbara Lutz Ehrmann, both of whom emigrated to the United States in the late 1840s from Bavaria, Germany.

Ehrmann received his early education from the Terre Haute Fourth District School and the German Methodist Church. Between 1890-94 he attended De Pauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. While at De Pauw, Ehrmann became editor of the school newspaper, Depauw Weekly.

Upon graduation, Ehrmann studied law and philosophy at Harvard and edited The Rainbow, a national college fraternity magazine. While at Harvard, he also published his first book, A Farrago, in 1898.

Returning to Terre Haute in 1898, Ehrmann practiced law as Deputy States Attorney for two years. He then worked for a number of years as credit manager and attorney for his brother's manufacturing business.

At the age of 40, Ehrmann left the family business and returned to writing full-time. Throughout his career, he wrote more than 20 books and pamphlets and many essays and poems that were published separately in newspapers and magazines. His most acclaimed work was "Desiderata" originally published in 1927. This prose-poem brought Ehrmann national attention because of its identification with Adelai Stevenson and because of the confusion regarding its copyright and authorship. (See the Community Affairs File for more information.) "Desiderata" has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers, and anthologies and was produced as a single record by Warner Brothers in 1971.

Max Ehrmann died September 9, 1945.

Content and Scope of Collection

This collection contains one booklet and five small, poster-form reproductions of Ehrmann's poetry and prose. These items were produced for the Max Ehrmann Centennial celebration in Terre Haute in September 1972.

For related material, see the Max Ehrmann Collection (Accession Number 771220) and the Max Ehrmann Pamphlets (Accession Number 881115B-) in the Community Archives.

Document Case





Folder 1

Booklet: "Max Ehrmann: A Centennial Tribute" by Richard W. Dowell









"Love Someone. . ."

"A Prayer"

"Terre Haute"