Born in Quebec in 1915, Saul Bellow was a playwright and novelist who grew up in Chicago and graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in sociology and anthropology. Although he later continued his studies at the University of Wisconsin, writing was his calling, and he never pursued a career in the sciences.
Bellow published his first novel, Dangling Man, in 1944 and followed it up with The Victim in 1947. While his first two books earned him a group of readers, his breakthrough came in 1953 with the publication of The Adventures of Augie March, a novel he began while studying in Paris and other parts of Europe on a Guggenheim Fellowship. The novel won a National Book Award in 1954 and caught the attention of the literary world.
Bellow’s later works include Herzog and Mr. Sammler’s Planet, which also earned National Book Awards, and Humboldt’s Gift. Bellow was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976. His dramatic works include three short plays published collectively with the title Under the Weather. In addition to writing, Bellow taught courses at several schools, including the University of Chicago, Princeton, and Boston University. He died in Massachusetts in 2005 at the age of 89.