James Thurber was born in 1894 in Ohio. After leaving college, he joined the then-struggling New Yorker magazine, helping to change its fortunes with the unique wit of his writings and cartoons. He was to remain a contributor for the rest of his life. Thurber's sophisticated humour saw him achieve worldwide fame and success, with almost thirty books of fiction, cartoons, children's stories and essays translated into dozens of languages, and his most famous work, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, was made into a film with Danny Kaye as the eponymous hero. James Thurber died in 1961.