Nelson Algren (1909-1981) was an accomplished American author. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Algren was raised in Chicago. He received a degree in journalism from the University of Illinois. During the Great Depression, he worked as a door-to-door salesman, as a migrant worker, and for a short time as writer with the Works Progress Administration. Along with Jack Conroy, Algren edited the leftist "New Anvil" magazine. He published his first novel "Somebody in Boots" in 1935. During World War II, he served in the U.S. army medical corps. Algren's other early works include "Never Come Morning" (1942), "The Neon Wilderness" (1947), and "The Man with the Golden Arm" (1949). Algren won the first National Book Award for fiction for "The Man with the Golden Arm." His later books include "A Walk on the Wild Side" (1956) and "The Devil's Stocking" (1979). He also produced nonfiction works. Algren had a long-time relationship with French author Simone de Beauvoir. Nelson Algren died on May 9, 1981.
[Source: "Nelson Algren." "Encyclopedia Britannica" online.]