Gertrude Stein was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, on 3rd February, 1874. As a child she lived in Vienna and Paris before returning to the United States to study at Radcliffe College (1893-97) and Johns Hopkins Medical School (1897-1901) but left before taking her degree.
In 1903 Stein moved to France where she lived with her lover, Alice B. Toklas. Her home became a gathering place for European artists and American writers.
Her first novel, Three Lives, was published in 1909. Its prose style is highly unconventional and virtually dispenses with normal punctuation. Tender Buttons (1914) was even more experimental and sold extremely badly. Other work by Stein include her theory of writing, Composition and Explanation (1926), The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933), two volumes of memoirs, Everybody's Autobiography (1937) and Wars I Have Seen (1945), a novel about the Second World War, Brewsie and Willie (1946) and an opera about Susan B. Anthony, the women's rights campaigner, The Mother of Us All (1946).
Gertrude Stein died at Neuilly-sur-Seine on 27th July, 1946.