Death Be Not Proud is a memoir by American journalist and writer John Gunther that was first published in 1949. It is a poignant account of the illness of Gunther’s teenaged son Johnny after a brain tumor is discovered and Johnny’s subsequent death. Because illness memoirs were rare at the time, Gunther’s publisher was hesitant to take on the title. However, Death Be Not Proud received a strong reception and undoubtedly helped to popularize the illness memoir genre.


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See a complete list of the characters in Death Be Not Proud and in-depth analyses of Johnny, John Gunther, and Frances.

Literary Devices

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Quick Quizzes

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Deeper Study

Go further in your study of Death Be Not Proud by reading background information about John Gunther and her novel as well as mini essays on key topics.