Date and Location of Birth
February 27, 1904
Date and Location of Death
August 22, 1979
New York City, New York
Cause: Unknown; Most likely old age.
Parents had Farrell move in with his grandparents early in his life.
Married to: Dorothy Butler
When Farrell was about fifteen-years-old, he and his grandparents moved to the South Fifties , the neighborhood that would later serve as the basis for a young Irish-Catholic boy named Studs Lonigan in one of Farrell's most renown books.
Not much else about Farrell's young life is known, but apparently he did well enough in school to make his way into the University of Chicago in 1925. There, he completed six terms of schooling, until in 1927 he said, in one of his most famous quotes, that he would write "regardless of the consequences" . Farrell also is recorded as saying that the "greatest achievement in the world was to earn for yourself the right to say-I am an artist" . Farrell first step to "becoming an artist" came in 1929 when he published the short story, "Slob."
Farrell's most famous works, though, came in the first half of the 1930s. In 1931 he and his new wife Dorothy Butler (who he married not once but twice ) were in Paris, where Farrell was largely on a "self-discovery" type of mission, where he tried "the expatriate life and [discovered] it had little meaning to him" . In 1932, Farrell came back to his home in New York City, where he lived until the day of his death.
During his time in Paris, Farrell finished writing and had published the first installment of the Studs Lonigan trilogy-Young Lonigan, in 1931. After Farrell had returned from Paris with his wife, he continued on the rest of the trilogy, publishing The Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan in 1934, and the final part of the trilogy, Judgment Day, in 1935.
After this time, Farrell sunk into a period of "critical neglect"  that lasted for the majority of the remainder of his life. Instead of taking his time writing better thought-out and more innovative novels, Farrell wrote a large number of books and novels in place of the lack of critical praise he was getting. By the time of Farrell's death in 1979, he "left over fifty books of stories and novels behind him, roughly one for each year of his writing career" .
In Studs Lonigan, Farrell demonstrates a lot of the innate qualities that he possesses as a writer. Studs Lonigan is an interesting mix of both Naturalism and Realism, two important literary methods of thought in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Another one of the very unique traits which Farrell employed as a means to further developer Studs is the technique of "stream of consciousness" (the process of describing a character's thoughts as they occur to the character). Through these techniques, Farrell is able to fully develop the dark, gritty, and depressing world that Studs lives in, while simultaneously making Studs into a fully three-dimensional character with whom readers can both sympathize with and even despise at times.
Farrell also displays a lot of his own thoughts and feelings about a number of aspects of his life through the story of Studs Lonigan. One example of this is the complaints he shows about the Irish-Catholic religion, which he refused to acknowledge as a personal practice relatively early in his life, which is present even in the very early pages of Studs Lonigan's first book, Young Lonigan, where Studs reflects a number of times about the contradictions and complexities of his teachings from his Irish-Catholic school.
Studs Lonigan, in the later book especially, is a very telling and accurate description of life during the Great Depression. The Lonigan family faces a number of very troubling happenings as Stud Lonigan's father begins to really feel the heat of the problems which the depression is starting to impart upon him, as his painting business, which he established through nothing outside of his own hard work, fails. Studs, also, faces the troubles of the times as some of the money he had saved up and decides to invest in the stock market comes back to haunt him as the market continues to fall.
Studs Lonigan is one of the great aspects of American literature, especially Chicago literature, and is in, in part, a "great American tragedy." Studs Lonigan is consistently put into realistic situations which he simply cannot hope to be successful in; Studs Lonigan is the story of a good boy who is simply unable to live against the forces of life, no matter what he does. In the end, Studs' death is an even more depressing end to a depressing tale about a young boy not necessarily because he simply dies, but because his death actually brings Studs' closer to happiness than anything else outside a few instances in his early life could.