Mary Oliver Biography, Poems, Books, Age, Husband, Net Worth, Quotes, Parents, Height, Husband, Wikipedia, Cause Of Death

Mary Oliver Biography: Poems, Books, Age, Husband, Net Worth, Quotes, Parents, Height, Husband, Wikipedia, Cause Of Death

Posted By Abigail Anderson


Mary Jane Oliver (born September 10, 1935), addressed as Mary Oliver, was a renowned American poet and writer. 

She was known for winning the American National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Her works are greatly inspired and influenced by nature. 

Mary Oliver is also known for her lifelong passion for solitary walks in the wild. Mary Jane was also recognized in America as the best-selling poet in 2007. Her works were unmatchable and inspiring.

Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver: History ‧ Bio ‧ Photo
Wiki Facts & About Data
Full Name: Mary Jane Oliver
Stage Name: Mary Oliver
Born: 10 September 1935 (age 83 years old)
Place of Birth: Maple Heights, Ohio, United States
Died: 17 January 2019, Hobe Sound, Florida, United States
Nationality: American
Height: N/A
Parents: Edward William, Helen M. V. Oliver
Siblings: N/A
Husband • Spouse: Molly Malone Cook
Boyfriend • Partner: Molly Malone Cook
Children: N/A
Occupation: Author • Poet
Net Worth: US$10 million

Early Life & Education

Mary Jane Oliver was born on September 10th, 1935, in Maple Height, Ohio, United States. She was born to Edward Williams, a social studies teacher; her father was also an athletic coach in some public schools in Maple Height. Her mother is called Helen M. V. Oliver

Growing up was quite tough for her. During an interview session with Maria Shriver, an American journalist, in 2011, Mary Oliver described her family as dysfunctional. She also revealed some dark details about her childhood days. According to her, she was abused and molested by a close family relative.

As a result of the abuse, Mary Oliver recalled that she had recurring nightmares and couldn’t sleep peacefully for years. She reportedly started writing poets at the age of 14, and at the age of 17, she visited Edna St. Vincent Millay, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, in her home in New York.

Mary Oliver became friends with the late poet’s sister Norma Millay. Oliver and Norma Millay spent the next six to seven years at the estate organizing Edna St. Vincent Millay‘s papers.

Mary Oliver finished her education at a local high school in Maple Heights. At the age of 15, she enrolled in the National Music Camp Interlochen, Michigan, now known as Interlochen Arts Camp, where she was in the percussion section of the National High School Orchestra.

At the age of 20, Mary Oliver enrolled at the Ohio State University and Vassar College in the mid-1950s but did not receive a degree at either college.

Personal Life

Mary Oliver met her first partner, who later became her husband when she visited Austerlitz during her mid-20s. She met Molly Malone Cook, a photographer, and they married for forty years before he died.

According to an excerpt from Our World, a book from his late husband, photos, and journal that was compiled by Mary Oliver after the demise of her husband, She writes, “I took one look [at Cook] and fell, hook and tumble.” 

Molly Malone Cook was Mary Oliver‘s agent. They made their home largely in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where they lived until Molly Malone Cook died in 2005, and Mary Oliver continued to live until relocating to Florida. 

Mary Oliver was very discreet about her personal life. She rarely talks about her family life and children. 

Cause Of Death

Mary Oliver was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012 at the age of 77. However, she was treated and given a clean bill of health. 

She reportedly passed away in 2019 at 83 after she was diagnosed with lymphoma.


Mary Oliver worked alongside Norma Millay, the sister of legendary and award-winning power Edna St. Vincent Millay, at “Steepletop estate” home of Edna St. Vincent Millay as a secretary. Her first collection of poems, titled No Voyage and Other Poems, was published when she was 28. During the early 1980s, she taught at Case Western Reserve University.         

It was her fifth collection of poetry which she titled American Primitive, which won her the Pulitzer Prize in 1984. Mary Oliver also worked as a Poet in a Residence at Bucknell University (1986). Afterward, she relocated to Bennington, Vermont, where she held the Catharine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching at Bennington College until 2001.

In the early 1990s, Mary Oliver won the Christopher Award and the L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award for her poetry titled House of Light, written in 1990. She also won the National Book Award in 1992 for her New and Selected Poems.

Net Worth

According to sources, Mary Oliver had an estimated net worth of US$10 million before her death. 

She made her wealth exclusively from her career as a poet. She was also regarded as the best-selling poet in America in 2007.


  • Wild Geese” You do not have to be good. 
  • The Swan
  • Don’t Hesitate
  • Dogfish
  • When Death Comes
  • Starlings in Winter
  • The Summer Day
  • Praying

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