Charles Bukowski was born in Andernach, Germany, on August 16, 1920. He came to the United States with his parents when he was three years old and spent his early years in poverty. As a young man he was a transient, doing odd jobs. He lived most of his live in boarding houses in the Los Angeles area. He attended Los Angeles City College briefly. He worked for the United States Postal Service for about ten years. Bukowski was at home with street people and his work contains a brutal realism and graphic imagery. He began publishing short stories in the mid-1940s. Starting with Flower, Fist and Bestial Wail in 1959, he produced poetry collections almost once a year. His following had grown by the time his collection of poetry about down-and-outers titled It Catches My Heart in Its Hands appeared in 1963. His short story collections include Dirty Old Man and Ejaculations, Exhibitions and General Tales of Ordinary Madness. His novels, with an autobiographical character called Henry Chinaski, include Post Office and Factotum. Bukowski wrote the screenplay for the 1987 motion picture Barfly. He later wrote about the filming of Barfly in his novel, Hollywood. Bukowski died in San Pedro, California, on March 9, 1994.