J. D. Salinger was born in New York City on January 1, 1919. He attended Manhattan public schools, Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania, and three colleges, but received no degrees. He was from an upper class Jewish family and they lived on the upper west side of Manhattan on Park Avenue. Salinger joined the U. S. Army in 1942 and fought in the D-Day invasion at Normandy as well as the Battle of the Bulge, but suffered a nervous breakdown due to all he had seen and experienced in the war and checked himself into an Army hospital in Germany in 1945. In December 1945, his short story I'm Crazy was published in Collier's. In 1947, his short story A Perfect Day for Bananafish was… published in The New Yorker. Throughout his lifetime, he wrote more than 30 short stories and a handful of novellas, which were published in magazines and later collected in works such as Nine Stories, Franny and Zooey, and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction. The Catcher in the Rye, published in 1951, was his only novel. His last published story, Hapworth 16, 1924, appeared in 1965. He spent the remainder of his years in seclusion and silence in a home in Cornish, New Hampshire. He died of natural causes on January 27, 2010 at the age of 91. Salinger always wanted to write the great American novel; when he succeeded in this with Catcher in the Rye, he was unprepared for the onslaught on privacy issues that this popularity brought on. He never wanted to be in the spotlight and retreated from all contacts he had in New York City.
James A. Michener, 1907 - 1997 James Albert Michener was born on February 3, 1907 in Doylestown, Pa. He earned an A.B. from Swarthmore College, an A.M. from Colorado State College of Education, and an M.A. from Harvard University. He taught for many years and was an editor for Macmillan Publishing Company. His first book, "Tales of the South Pacific," derived from Michener's service in the Pacific in World War II, won the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was the basis for the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical South Pacific, which won the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Michener completed close to 40 novels. Some other epic works include "Hawaii," "Centennial," "Space," and… "Caribbean." He also wrote a significant amount of nonfiction including his autobiography "The World Is My Home." Among his many other honors, James Michener received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977. He was married to Patti Koon in 1935; they divorced in 1948. He married Vange Nord in 1948 (divorced 1955) and Mari Yoriko Sabusawa in 1955 (deceased 1994). He died in 1997 in Austin, Texas.