Almost everyone in the world has heard of James Dean. Some know of him while others have just heard the name. Not many know that he died at the age of 24. James Dean himself told more than one of his friend that he did not expect to live past the age of thirty. He said, "What better way to die? It's fast and clean and you go out in a blaze of glory" (80 Things You Didn't Know About James Dean). Little did they know, he turned out to be right. However, before passing away at the young age of 24, James Dean lived a life in which he was certain people would remember him long after he was gone.
James Byron Dean came into this world on February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana. His parents, Winton Dean and Mildred Wilson had no idea the legacy their son would leave behind-or that he would leave the world so soon. His father lived a life of farming before James came along, but once he did, his dad became a dentist. Not only did he switch occupations, six years after doing so, he packed up the family and relocated them to Santa Monica, California.
As far as Dean's schooling went, he attended Brentwood Public School in Santa Monica, California. Several years later, his mother, whom he was very close to, passed away from cancer in 1940. Dean's father felt it would be good to send him back to Indiana to go live on his aunt and uncle's Quaker farm. He knew that Dean’s aunt and uncle would be better able to care for him than he could at the time. After moving back to Indiana, he was brought up under a Quaker background.
Dean was severely affected by the loss of his mother since the two of them were so close. When his mother died he said, "When she died, my life ended and all that was left was a void" (Leone 10). His loss led him to seek some counseling from his pastor, Reverend James. A short time after suffering from the loss of his mother, James Dean started high school. His performance was not great, and it was not horrible either, but rather mediocre. Dean attended Fairmount High School located about ninety nine miles southeast of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Once graduating from high school, Dean moved back to California. While there, he lived with his father and stepmother. First, he enrolled at Santa Monica College to study pre-law. However, he quickly learned that his heart was not in studying law, and that was not how he wanted to make his living.
A short while later, Dean transferred to UCLA to study drama. It turns out that drama was where James Dean belonged all along. Dean seemed to have a natural ability for drama. “While at UCLA, he beat out 350 actors to land the role of Malcolm in ‘Macbeth’ and by January 1951, he’d dropped out of college to pursue a career as an actor” (James Dean Biography). Although this change in Dean’s career was for the better, his dad ended up pushing him away, and alienating him.
Once James graduated from college, his professional career began with a slow start but it quickly escalated into...