Edgar Lawrence Doctorow was born on 6 January, 1931 in New York. He graduated with Honours from Kenyon College in 1952 and then completed a year of graduate work at Columbia University before being drafted into the army serving in Germany from 1954-55. Following his military service, he returned to New York and became a reader for a motion picture company. He later pursued a career in publishing, initially as an editor at the New American Library working with authors including Ian Fleming and then as Editor in Chief at Dial Press, publishing the likes of James Baldwin and Norman Mailer.
In 1969 Doctorow left publishing in order to write, and accepted a position as Visiting Writer at the University of California, Irvine, where he completed The Book of Daniel. His work has been published in thirty languages. His novels include Welcome to Hard Times, The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, Loon Lake, Lives of the Poets, World’s Fair, Billy Bathgate, The Waterworks and The March.
E. L. Doctorow was nominated for the Nebula Best Novel award for Ragtime in 1976 and he was nominated for the National Book Award for Fiction Best Novel in 2005 for The March. In 1986, he was awarded the National Book Award for Fiction Best Novel award for World’s Fair; in 1990 he was awarded the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Best Novel for Billy Bathgate and in 2006 he was the Best Novel winner for the PEN/ Faulkner Award for Fiction for The March.
E. L. Doctorow is currently Loretta and Lewis Glucksman Professor of English and American Letters at New York University. He lives in New York.