An American poet, Elizabeth Bishop was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1911. Following the death of her father and the extended illness of her mother, Bishop was raised by relatives. During World War I she lived in Nova Scotia. She graduated from Vassar in 1934 and later traveled in Europe and Africa. For many years she lived in Brazil. She returned to the United States in 1970. In 1945, North and South, Bishop's first book, was published. Her Complete Poems (1969) won the National Book Award in 1970. With Emanuel Brasil, Bishop coedited An Anthology of Twentieth Century Brazilian Poetry (1972) Her influence on other poets was not obvious during her life, but many have tried to emulate her distinctive talent, and her reputation continues to grow. Bishop died in 1979.
Editor and author Robert Giroux was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on April 8, 1914. He dropped out of Regis High School shortly before graduation in order to take a newspaper job with The Jersey Journal. He received a scholarship to Columbia University, became editor-in-chief of The Columbia Review, and graduated in 1936. He joined the public relations department at the Columbia Broadcasting System and worked there for four years before finding his first editing job at Harcourt, Brace, and Company in 1940. During World War II, he served in the Navy. He joined Farrar, Straus and Company in 1955 as editor-in-chief and almost 20 of his writers at Harcourt followed him including T. S. Eliot, Bernard Malamud, and Flannery O'Connor. He became a partner in the publishing company in 1964 and eventually chairman. He also wrote several books including The Book Known as Q: A Consideration of Shakespeare's Sonnets, The Education of an Editor, and A Deed of Death: The Story Behind the Unsolved Murder of Hollywood Director William Desmond Taylor. He was the president of the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures from 1975 to 1982. He received numerous awards for his work including The Alexander Hamilton Medal from the Columbia University alumni association in 1987, the Mayoral Award of Honor for Art and Culture from the City of New York in 1989, and the Philolexian Award for Distinguished Literary Achievement in 2006. He died on September 5, 2008 at the age of 94.