Author Jerome K. Jerome was born in Walsall, Staffordshire, England on May 2, 1859. He grew up in London and had to leave the Philological School in Lisson Grove at the age of 14 because of his parents'death. Afterwards, he worked as a clerk, an actor, a journalist, and a school teacher. In 1885, he published his first book On the Stage - and Off: The Brief Career of a Would-Be Actor. This was followed by numerous plays, books, and magazine articles including Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, Three Men in a Boat, and Three Men on the Bummel. He founded the weekly magazine To-Day in 1893 and edited it and a monthly magazine called The Idler until 1898. He also worked as a lecturer. During World War I, he enlisted in the French army as an ambulance driver because he was rejected for active service in his own country. He published his autobiography My Life and Times in 1926 and was made a Freeman of the Borough of Walsall in 1927. He suffered a paralytic stroke and a cerebral hemorrhage and lingered in the hospital for two weeks before dying on June 14, 1927.