Edna Ferber (August 15, 1885 – April 16, 1968) was an American novelist, short story writer and playwright. Her novels were especially popular and included the Pulitzer Prize-winning So Big (1924), Show Boat (1926; made into the celebrated 1927 musical), and Giant (1952; made into the 1956 Hollywood movie).
Ferber was born August 15, 1885, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to a Hungarian-born Jewish storekeeper and his Milwaukee, Wisconsin-born wife, Jacob Charles and Julia (Neumann) Ferber. After living in Chicago, Illinois, and Ottumwa, Iowa, at age 12 Ferber and her family moved to Appleton, Wisconsin, where she graduated from high school and briefly attended Lawrence University. She took newspaper jobs at the Appleton Daily Crescent and the Milwaukee Journal before publishing her first novel. She covered the 1920 Republican National Convention and 1920 Democratic National Convention for the United Press Association.
Ferber's novels generally featured strong female protagonists, although she fleshed out multiple characters in each book. She usually highlighted at least one strong secondary character who faced discrimination ethnically or for other reasons; through this technique, Ferber demonstrated her belief that people are people and that the not-so-pretty persons have the best character.