Eugene Gladstone O'Neill (1888 – 1953) was an American playwright and Nobel laureate in Literature. Born in a Broadway hotel room in Longacre Square (now Times Square), in the Barrett Hotel. He was the son of Irish immigrant actor James O'Neill, Rosbercon, County Kilkenny and Mary Ellen Quinlan, Ballyknock.
Because of his father's occupation, O'Neill was sent to St. Aloysius Academy for Boys, a Catholic boarding school in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, where he found his only solace in books. O'Neill spent his summers in New London, Connecticut. He attended Princeton University for one year. Accounts vary as to why he left: he may have been dropped for attending too few classes, been suspended for "conduct code violations," or "for breaking a window", or according to a more concrete but possibly apocryphal account, because he threw "a beer bottle into the window of Professor Woodrow Wilson", the future president of the United States. O'Neill spent several years at sea, during which he suffered from depression and alcoholism. O'Neill joined the Marine Transport Workers Union of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), which was fighting for improved living conditions for the working class utilizing quick 'on the job' direct action. O'Neill's parents and elder brother Jamie, died within three years of one another, not long after he had begun to make his mark in the theater. Despite his depression, he had a deep love for the sea, and it became a prominent theme in many of his plays, several of which are set on board ships like the ones that he worked on. When O'Neill knew that death was near, he tore up six of his unfinished plays rather than have someone else rewrite them. Suffering from a neuromuscular disorder that had robbed him of the ability to write O'Neill died in the Shelton Hotel in Boston. Autopsy showed late-onset cerebellar cortical atrophy. He had written 50 plays and seen 35 of them produced.
Oona, Lady Chaplin (née O'Neill) (May 14, 1925 – September 27, 1991) was the daughter of Nobel-and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Eugene O'Neill and writer Agnes Boulton, and the fourth and last wife of British comic and filmmaker Sir Charles "Charlie" Chaplin. Oona O'Neill was born on May 14, 1925, in Bermuda. Eugene O'Neill disowned his daughter for marrying Chaplin when she was 18 and Chaplin was 54. He never saw Oona again.