William Strunk Jr. was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 1, 1869. He received a bachelor's degree at the University of Cincinnati in 1890 and Ph.D. at Cornell University in 1896. He taught English at Cornell University for forty-six years. He wrote two books: The Elements of Style, which was later published under the title The Elements and Practice of Composition, and English Metres. He was also an editor and edited important works by such authors as William Shakespeare, John Dryden, and James Fenimore Cooper. He served as a literary consultant to the 1936 MGM film version of Romeo and Juliet. He died on September 26, 1946.
Elwyn Brooks White was born on July 11, 1899, in Mt. Vernon, New York. After graduating from Cornell University, he worked briefly for an advertising agency and as a newspaper reporter before joining the staff of The New Yorker magazine in 1927. As a columnist for The New Yorker and a contributor to Harper's Magazine, White established a reputation as a prose stylist of exceptional elegance, clarity and wit. His interests, as reflected in his writing, were numerous and varied; his essays touched on such wide-ranging subjects as politics, farm animals, and life in New York City. White married Katharine S. Angell in 1929. They had one son, and in 1957 the family left New York for a farm in North Brookline, Maine. Writings from The New Yorker, 1927-1976 is a compilation of columns and essays produced during White's long relationship with the magazine. One Man's Meat, published in 1942, is a collection of his writings for Harper's. White adapted a short guide to English grammar and usage, The Elements of Style, from a college text written by one of his professors at Cornell, William Strunk Jr. It has sold millions of copies since it was first published in 1959 and has become a cherished resource for guidance in writing. White also co-authored Is Sex Necessary? with the humorist James Thurber, a fellow staff member at The New Yorker. E.B. White died on October 1, 1985 after succumbing to Alzheimer's. His diverse legacy also includes three children's books: Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan. In 1970 the American Library Association presented White the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award in recognition of his "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children." He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 and received a special Pulitzer Prize citation for his body of work in 1970.
Roger Angell lives in New York City.