Kay Boyle The granddaughter of a publisher, Kay Boyle grew up in several cities but principally in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her father was a lawyer but her greatest influence came from her mother Katherine Evans, a literary and social activist who believed that the wealthy had an obligation to help the less well off. As such, in later years, Kay Boyle championed integration and civil rights. She also advocated banning nuclear weapons, and American withdrawal from the Vietnam War.
Kay Boyle was educated at the exclusive Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, then studied architecture at the Ohio Mechanics Institute in Cincinnati. Interested in the arts, she studied violin at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music before settling in New York City in 1922 where she found work as an writer/editor with a small magazine.