MacKinlay Kantor was born in Webster City, Iowa, in 1904. He began to write seriously at sixteen, became a newspaper reporter at seventeen, and published his first book at twenty-three. Over the next half-century, he went on to produce more than forty works including novels, short story collections, novels in verse, novellas, histories and children's books. His best-selling historical novel, Andersonville, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1956. MacKinlay Kantor's other accomplishments included Hollywood screenwriting, patrolling the streets with the N.Y.P.D., and combat correspondence (RAF and USAF) in two wars, for which he was awarded the Medal of Freedom.