John O'Hara was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania on 31 January 1905. He was the eldest of eight children. He had many occupations including engineer, ship steward, railway freight clerk, gas meter reader, amusement park guard, steel mill worker, soda fountain assistant and journalist. His first novel, Appointment in Samarra (1934), won him instant acclaim, and quickly came to be regarded as one of the most prominent writers in America.He won the National Book Award for his novel Ten North Frederick and had more stories published in the New Yorker than anyone in the history of the magazine.His fourteen novels include A Rage to Live, Pal Joey, BUtterfield 8 and From the Terrace. John O'Hara died on 11 April 1970.