Famous writer Gertrude Stein was born on February 3, 1874 in Allegheny, PA and was educated at Radcliffe College and Johns Hopkins medical school. Stein wrote Three Lives, The Making of Americans, and Tender Buttons, all of which were considered difficult for the average reader. She is most famous for her opera Four Saints in Three Acts and The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, which was actually an autobiography of Stein herself. With her companion Alice B. Toklas, Stein received the French government's Medaille de la Reconnaissance Francaise for theory work with the American fund for French Wounded in World War I. Gertrude Stein died in Neuilly-ser-Seine, France on July 27, 1946.
Adam Gopnik is the author of Paris to the Moon and Through the Children's Gate and is a contributor to The New Yorker. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children. His most recent book is Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln and Modern Life, a comparison about how those men changed our nation with their history-making actions.