Fresno, Calif. — William Saroyan, who passed on here Monday, was an Armenian immigrant's son who became a prolific short story writer and Pulitzer Prize playwright, bringing the technique of impressionism to the short story and drama with a flamboyance that won him additional fame.
During the pre-World War II period his name became a byword in American drama and literature. Winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 for his play "The Time of Your Life," he promptly rejected the prize money because he resented "wealth patronizing art."
Most of his work showed sympathy for humble people. The modest characters in "The Time of Your Life," for instance, were depicted with a tenderness, bordering on the sentimental.
He also wrote several novels, including "The Human Comedy," which was made into a movie.