John Steinbeck was born in 1902 in California. He dropped out of college and worked as a manual laborer before achieving success as a writer. His 1939 novel, The Grapes of Wrath won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Steinbeck served as a war correspondent during World War II, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. He died in New York City in 1968.