Inspired by a dream, Stern finished the 4,100-word short story in 1943 after working on it since November 1939. Unable to find a publisher, he sent the 200 copies he had printed as a 21-page booklet to friends as Christmas presents in December 1943. Stern privately published the short story in 1945, and it was copyrighted in 1945.
The story came to the attention of RKO Pictures producer David Hempstead, who showed it to actor Cary Grant, who became interested in playing the lead role. RKO purchased the motion-picture rights for $10,000 in April 1944. After several screenwriters worked on adaptations, RKO sold the rights to the story in 1945 to Frank Capra's production company for the same $10,000, which he adapted into It's a Wonderful Life.
The story was first published as a book in December 1944, with illustrations by Rafaello Busoni. Stern also sold it to Reader's Scope magazine, which published the story in its December 1944 issue, and to the magazine Good Housekeeping, which published it under the title "The Man Who Was Never Born" in its January 1945 issue (published in December 1944).
Read more about this topic: The Greatest Gift (story)
Other articles related to "history":
... History of Charles XII, King of Sweden (1731) The Age of Louis XIV (1751) The Age of Louis XV (1746–1752) Annals of the Empire – Charlemagne, A.D ... II (1754) Essay on the Manners of Nations (or 'Universal History') (1756) History of the Russian Empire Under Peter the Great (Vol ... II 1763) History of the Parliament of Paris (1769) ...
... in some form or another has been seen in almost every society in history ... to Napoleon's France and Elizabethan England, much of history is filled with stories of entertainment based on games of chance ... In American history, early gambling establishments were known as saloons ...
... The breakup of Al-Andalus into the competing taifa kingdoms helped the long embattled Iberian Christian kingdoms gain the initiative ... The capture of the strategically central city of Toledo in 1085 marked a significant shift in the balance of power in favour of the Christian kingdoms ...
... The history of computing is longer than the history of computing hardware and modern computing technology and includes the history of methods intended for pen and paper or for chalk and slate, with or without the ...
... The Skeptical School of early Chinese history, started by Gu Jiegang in the 1920s, was the first group of scholars within China to seriously question the ... early Chinese history is a tale told and retold for generations, during which new elements were added to the front end" ...
Famous quotes containing the word history:
“The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs?”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“When the history of guilt is written, parents who refuse their children money will be right up there in the Top Ten.”
—Erma Brombeck (20th century)
“We are told that men protect us; that they are generous, even chivalric in their protection. Gentlemen, if your protectors were women, and they took all your property and your children, and paid you half as much for your work, though as well or better done than your own, would you think much of the chivalry which permitted you to sit in street-cars and picked up your pocket- handkerchief?”
—Mary B. Clay, U.S. suffragist. As quoted in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 4, ch. 3, by Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted Harper (1902)