Author William Gass was born on July 30, 1924. He joined the Washington University faculty in 1969 and received an endowed chair in 1979. He was deeply concerned with the issues that writers face and was named director of the International Writers Center in 1990. Some of his writings include the novels "Omensetter's Luck" (1966) and "The Tunnel" (1995), and the classic book of short stories "In the Heart of the Heart of the Country." Two of his essay collections earned the National Book Critics Circle Awards for Criticism.