James Jones was born in Robinson, Illinois on November 6, 1921. He was unable to afford college, so he enlisted in the Army in 1939. His experiences during World War II inspired his best-known works: From Here to Eternity, which won the National Book Award in 1952, The Thin Red Line, and Whistle. His other works include The Pistol, Go to the Widow-Maker, The Ice-Cream Headache and Other Stories, and The Merry Month of May. Many of his books were adapted into movies including From Here to Eternity, Some Came Running, and The Thin Red Line. He died of congestive heart failure on May 9, 1977.