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... John Steinbeck The John Ernst Steinbeck was born and brought up in Salinas, California, on twenty seventh of February, 1902. He was the son to John Ernst Steinbeck and Olive Hamilton. He was their third child. His mum, Olive Hamilton Steinbeck, was a former public school teacher whereas his father, John Ernst Steinbeck, was a treasurer in Monterey County. He grew up in a Victorian house that still stands up in Salinas up to today. Back in the early years of the twentieth century, Salinas was a comparatively prosperous farming community that relied on farming. It was the seat for the county and a lot of trade took place there. The lower part of the Salinas valley was a shipping center.