AJ Cronin Scotland Switzerland United States

Biography of AJ Cronin

Archibald Joseph Cronin (1896-1981) was a graduate of the University who became one of Britain's most successful novelists.

Born in Cardross, the son of Glasgow's first female public health inspector, Cronin matriculated to study at the University before the First World War. His studies were interrupted by his war service as a Surgeon Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, but he finally graduated MB, ChB (with Commendation) in 1919 and MD in 1925, gaining a diploma in Public Health in London along the way. He married Agnes Mary Gibson, who also studied medicine at the University of Glasgow, on 31 August 1921.

Cronin was Medical Inspector for Mines from 1924 to 1926 and went into private practice in London. In 1930 he retired to the Scottish Highlands after a bout of ill-health, and published his first novel, Hatter's Castle, the following year. He gave up medicine to concentrate on writing, and novels such as The Stars Look Down and The Citadel were greeted with critical and popular acclaim. A series of his short stories provided the inspiration for the popular television drama, Dr Finlay's Casebook.

Cronin moved to the USA in 1939 and then to Switzerland after the Second World War.

His biography is also on the University's WWI Roll of Honour.


AJ Cronin
Novelist and Physician

Born 19 July 1896, Cardross, Scotland.
Died 6 January 1981.
GU Degrees: MB ChB, 1919; MD, 1925;
University Link: Alumnus
Occupation categories: novelists; physicians
WWI: View WWI Roll of Honour Entry
NNAF Reference: GB/NNAF/P157915
View Major Archive Collection Record
Search for this person in the DNB
Record last updated: 2nd Oct 2018

Country Associations

Scotland Scotland
Place of Birth

Switzerland Switzerland, No Region

United States United States, No Region

University Connections

University Roles

  • Alumnus