Don DeLillo was born in November 1936 in the Bronx, New York City. A child of Italian immigrants he attended Fordham University. After graduating from Fordham, DeLillo took a job in advertising. He worked for five years as a copywriter at the agency of Ogilvy & Mather writing image ads for Sears Roebuck among others, before quitting.
DeLillo is widely considered by modern critics to be one of the central figures of literary postmodernism. Many younger English-language authors such as Bret Easton Ellis, Jonathan Franzen and David Foster Wallace cite DeLillo as an influence. His novel White Noise (1985) won the National Book Award, and Mao II won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1991.