Discipline: Literature – fiction, Literature – nonfiction

James Ullman

Discipline: Literature – fiction, Literature – nonfiction
Region: Boston, MA
MacDowell fellowships: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1968

James Ullman (1907–1971) was an American writer and mountaineer. Since 1966, he was also an active member of the Colony's Board of Directors. He was born in New York City. His writing mostly dealt with the subjects of mountaineering and geography. His works include Banner in the Sky, which was based on the true story of the first climbing of the Matterhorn, and The White Tower, a Book-of-the-Month selection in 1945. In addition to his mountaineering books, he wrote Where the Bong Tree Grows, an account of a year he spent traveling through some of the most remote islands of the South Pacific. Ullman also wrote a novel about the poet Arthur Rimbaud, titled The Day on Fire. He joined the American Mount Everest Expedition 1963 as official historian. Because of health problems, however, he had to stay in Kathmandu, but maintained radio contact with the climbing party throughout their successful attempt. His book Americans on Everest: The Official Account of the Ascent was published in 1964 and became a best-seller. His papers, which include an archive regarding Temple Fielding, are at Princeton University.



James Ullman worked in the Sprague-Smith studio.

In January of 1976, the original Sprague-Smith Studio — built in 1915–1916 and funded by music students of Mrs. Charles Sprague-Smith of the Veltin School — was destroyed by fire. Redesigned by William Gnade, Sr., a Peterborough builder, the fieldstone structure was rebuilt the same year from the foundation up, reusing the original fieldstone. A few…

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