Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946) was an American writer and thinker who spent most of her life in France. She was well known due to her writing, art collection and the many people (some of whom were, or became, famous) who visited her Paris salon.
Her adult life featured two main personal relationships. The first was her working relationship with her brother Leo Stein, from 1874 to 1914, and the second was her romantic relationship with Alice B. Toklas, from 1907 until Stein's death in 1946. Stein shared her salon at 27 rue de Fleurus, Paris, first with Leo and then with Alice. Throughout her lifetime, Stein also had significant relationships with avant garde artists and literary people. She was friends with young artists Matisse and Picasso during the early 1900s, authors Thornton Wilder and Ernest Hemingway during the 1920s. She is credited with coining the term Lost Generation as description of her many expatriate acquaintances in France and Italy during the 1920s and 1930s.
Gertrude Stein, the youngest of a family of five children, was born in 1874 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania (merged with Pittsburgh in 1907), to well-educated German-Jewish immigrant parents. Her father, Daniel Stein, was an executive with a railroad, whose prudent investments in streetcar lines and real estate had made the family wealthy. When Gertrude was three years old, the Steins relocated for business reasons first to Vienna and then to Paris. Her family returned to America during 1878, settling in Oakland, California, where she attended First Hebrew Congregation of Oakland's Sabbath school.