Damon Runyon(18841946) was a correspondent for the Hearst chain of papers in New York City. He complemented his journalism with plays, short stories, and poetry, and became one of the most recognizable voices of the Depression era. Pete Hamillhas written many bestselling books and won the Damon Runyon Award from the Denver Press Club. He is a Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at New York University. Daniel R. Schwarzis the Frederic J. Whiton Professor of English and the Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow at Cornell University. He is the author of Broadway Boogie-Woogie: Damon Runyon and the Making of New York City Culture.
William Kennedy worked as a journalist on newspapers and magazines before he began a career as a novelist. Kennedy's novels, which are all centered around his home city of Albany, New York, include The Ink Truck, Legs, Billy Phelan's Greatest Game, Quinn's Book, Very Old Bones, and The Flaming Corsage. Kennedy's celebrated 1983 novel, Ironweed, has won great acclaim over the years, and has earned a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Critics Circle Award, and a PEN-Faulkner Award. In addition to writing novels, Kennedy co-authored the screenplay for The Cotton Club with Francis Coppola in 1984 and wrote the screenplay for Ironweed in 1987. Kennedy and his son, Brendan, co-authored two children's books, Charlie Malarkey and the Belly Button Machine and Charlie Malarkey and the Singing Moose. William Kennedy is the founder and director of the New York State Writers Institute, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a onetime editor of the San Juan Star and a former writing teacher at Cornell University. He is now a professor in the English department of the University at Albany.