Author William W. Warner was born in Manhattan, New York in 1920. In 1943, he received a bachelor's degree in geology from Princeton University. He joined the Naval Reserve and was called to active duty during World War II where he served as an aerial photoanalyst in the South Pacific. After the war, he opend a ski lodge in Stowe, Vermount and taught high school English. In 1953, he worked in Central and South America organizing cultural programs for the United States Information Agency. In 1961, he was the Peace Corps. program coordinator for Latin America. He worked at the Smithsonian Institution from 1964 to 1972. He wrote four books during his lifetime. Beautiful Swimmers, a study of crabs and watermen in the Chesapeake Bay, won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 1977 and has never gone out of print. He also wrote Distant Water: The Fate of the North Atlanic Fisherman, At Peace with All Their Neighbors, and Into the Porcupine Cave and Other Odysseys. He died from complications of Alzheimer's disease on April 18, 2008.
John Barth taught for many years in the writing program at Johns Hopkins University, and he lives in Chestertown, Maryland.