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Cale Rice (Cale Young Rice)

Cale Rice

Cale Rice (December 7, 1872 – January 24, 1943) was an American poet and dramatist. He was born in Dixon, Kentucky, to Laban Marchbanks Rice, a Confederate veteran and tobacco merchant, and his wife Martha Lacy. He was a younger brother of Laban Lacy Rice, a noted educator. Cale Rice grew up in Evansville, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky. He was educated at Cumberland University and at Harvard (A.B., 1895; A.M., 1896). He was married to the popular author Alice Hegan Rice; they worked together on several books. The marriage was childless, and Cale committed suicide by gunshot during the night of January 23–24 at his home in Louisville a year after her death due to his sorrow at losing her. Rice’s poems were collected and published in a single volume by his brother, Laban Lacy Rice. His birthplace in Dixon is designated by Kentucky State Historical Marker 1508, which reads: “Birthplace of Rice brothers, Cale Young, 1872-1943, noted poet and author; Laban Lacy, 1870-1973, well-known educator and author. Lacy published The Best Poetic Works of Cale Young Rice after Cale’s death. Included in famous collection is poem, “The Mystic.” Cale married Alice Hegan, also a distinguished Kentucky writer. Home overlooks Memorial Garden.”  Rice adapted his play Yolanda of Cyprus into an opera libretto for Clarence Loomis; the resulting work was premiered on September 25, 1929 in London, Ontario, under the baton of Isaac Van Grove, and featured Charles Kullman. The production was directed by Vladimir Rosing. The opera later received the Bispham Memorial Medal Award.

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  • December, 11, 1872
  • Dixon, Kentucky


  • January, 24, 1943
  • Louisville, Kentucky

Cause of Death

  • suicide


  • Cave Hill Cemetery
  • Louisville, Kentucky

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