C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis, "Jack" to his intimates, was born on November 29, 1898 in Belfast, Ireland. His mother died when he was 10 years old and his lawyer father allowed Lewis and his brother Warren extensive freedom. The pair were extremely close and they took full advantage of this freedom, learning on their own and frequently enjoying games of make-believe. These early activities led to Lewis's lifelong attraction to fantasy and mythology, often reflected in his writing. He enjoyed writing about, and reading, literature of the past, publishing such works as the award-winning The Allegory of Love (1936), about the period of history known as the Middle Ages. Although at one time Lewis considered himself an atheist, he soon became fascinated with religion. He is probably best known for his books for young adults, such as his Chronicles of Narnia series. This fantasy series, as well as such works as The Screwtape Letters (a collection of letters written by the devil), is typical of the author's interest in mixing religion and mythology, evident in both his fictional works and nonfiction articles. Lewis served with the Somerset Light Infantry in World War I; for nearly 30 years he served as Fellow and tutor of Magdalen College at Oxford University. Later, he became Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University. C.S. Lewis married late in life, in 1957, and his wife, writer Joy Davidman, died of cancer in 1960. He remained at Cambridge until his death on November 22, 1963.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London, England, in 1874. He began his education at St Paul's School, and later went on to study art at the Slade School, and literature at University College in London. Chesterton wrote a great deal of poetry, as well as works of social and literary criticism. Among his most notable books are The Man Who Was Thursday, a metaphysical thriller, and The Everlasting Man, a history of humankind's spiritual progress. After Chesterton converted to Catholicism in 1922, he wrote mainly on religious topics. Chesterton is most known for creating the famous priest-detective character Father Brown, who first appeared in "The Innocence of Father Brown." Chesterton died in 1936 at the age of 62.
After leading a bohemian life as a young woman, Day turned to the Catholic church knowing it meant the end for her common-law marriage to a devout atheist. As a woman with socialistic, anarchistic leanings, Day met Peter Maurin, a man rooted in Catholic traditions, and together they founded the Catholic Worker Catholic Worker. As a journalist, Day wrote about topics ranging from labor disputes to pacifism to motherhood. A social activist, she was last arrested at the age of 75 as a participant in a strike by the United Farm Workers. As part of the Catholic Worker movement, she helped to establish over a hundred Houses of Hospitality. Living in poverty among the poor, Day detested being called a saint.
He was born in the Netherlands in 1932. An ordained priest and gifted teacher, he taught at several universities including Notre Dame, Harvard and Yale. He was a missionary in Peru. He died of a heart attack in 1996.