James Agee (November 27, 1909 - May 16, 1955) was a United States novelist, screenwriter, journalist, poet, and film critic.
In the 1930s and 1940s, he was one of the most influential film critics in the U.S. His autobiographical novel, A Death In the Family (1957), won the Pulitzer Prize.
Agee was born at 15th and Highland Streets in Knoxville, Tennessee. He lost his father at the age of six in an automobile accident. Much of his early education was at a boarding school for boys. He attended Saint Andrew's School for Mountain Boys, now Saint Andrews-Sewanee School, Phillips Exeter Academy, where he edited the Monthly and Harvard University, where he was president of the Harvard Advocate.
After graduation, he wrote for Fortune and Time magazines. In 1934, he published his first volume of poetry, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.
In 1951, Agee suffered the first in a series of heart attacks, which ultimately claimed his life four years later, at the age of 45. His considerable if erratic carreer as a movie script writer was by then curtailed by alcoholism, and his contribution to "The Night of the Hunter" (1955) remains unclear