- Date of Birth:
- February 6, 1931
- The Bronx
E. L. Doctorow (born Edgar Lawrence Doctorow on January 6, 1931 in The Bronx, New York) was an American author. E. L. grew up in The Bronx, graduating from the Bronx High School of Science before attending Kenyon College in Ohio. E. L.’s interests in literature started in high school, as he published his first story, “The Beetle,” in the school’s magazine. He followed these interests in college, graduating with honors in 1952. He completed a year of graduate work at Columbia University before he was drafted to fight in World War II. After he returned, E. L. got a job as a reader for a motion picture company. After reading so many Westerns, he decided to write his own, penning his first novel, Welcome to Hard Times. It was published in 1960 and launched E. L.’s career. He worked as a book editor to help support his family, as well as taking on the editor-in-chief at The Dial Press in 1964. E. L. left the publishing world in 1969 to pursue writing. In 1971, he published The Book of Daniel, a fictionalized version of the trial and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. It was called a masterpiece and cemented E. L. as a talented writer. His following books, Ragtime and Billy Bathgate, won him critical praise and multiple awards. After a life that produced twelve novels and a handful of short story collections, E. L. passed away, from lung cancer, on July 21, 2015. He was 84.
Best Known For:
E. L. Doctrow was best known as an American author of historical fiction, writing The Book of Daniel, Ragtime and Billy Bathgate.
In 1953, E. L. married fellow Columbia University student, Helen Esther Setzer. They had three children together: son Richard and daughters Jenny and Caroline.