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The play was a resounding success, winning the Pulitzer Prize, as well as the Tony Award for Best Play.
The end of the manuscript contains a postscript, noting that the salesman on which the story is based had thrown himself under a subway train.
Arthur Miller reworked the play in 1947 upon a meeting with his uncle, Manny Newman.
Death of a Salesman focuses on two sons who are estranged from their father, paralleling one of Miller's other major works, All My Sons, which premiered two years before Death of a Salesman.
Although the play premiered in 1949, Miller began writing Death of a Salesman at the age of seventeen when he was working for his father's company.
While constructing the play, Miller was intent on creating continuous action that could span different time periods smoothly.
The major innovation of the play was the fluid continuity between its segments.
Death of a Salesman premiered on Broadway in 1949, starring Lee J.
Cobb as Willy Loman and directed by Elia Kazan (who would later inform on Arthur Miller in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee).
Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman stems from both Arthur Miller's personal experiences and the theatrical traditions in which the playwright was schooled.
The play recalls the traditions of Yiddish theater that focus on family as the crucial element, reducing most plot to the confines of the nuclear family.