Author and historian Shelby Foote was born in Greenville, Mississippi on November 17, 1916. He was educated at the University of North Carolina and served with the U.S. Army artillery during World War II. He was dismissed in 1944 for using a government vehicle against regulations. He later enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, but did not see active duty. After being discharged from the military, he briefly became a journalist. He has written short stories, plays, and longer works, but is best known for his three-volume narrative history of the Civil War. He was awarded Guggenheim fellowships in 1958, 1959, and 1960, a Ford Foundation grant in 1963, and the Dos Passos Prize for Literature in 1988. In 2003, Foote received the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award. The Helmerich Award is presented annually by the Tulsa Library Trust. He appeared in Ken Burns' PBS documentary The Civil War. He died at home in Memphis, Tennessee, on June 27, 2005 due to a heart attack. He was interred in Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis.