Philip Larkin CBE was born in August 1922 in Coventry. He attended St. Johns College, Oxford where he read English.
His first book of poetry, The North Ship, was published in 1945, followed by two novels, Jill, in 1946 and A Girl in Winter a year later. He came to prominence in 1955 with the publication of his second collection of poems, The Less Deceived, followed by The Whitsun Weddings in 1964 and High Windows ten years later.
He contributed to the Daily Telegraph as its jazz critic from 1961 to 1971, publishing his articles in 1985 in All What Jazz: A Record Diary 1961–71. In 1973 he edited The Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse.
Larkin was the recipient of many honours, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. He was offered, but declined, the position of Poet Laureate in 1984, following the death of John Betjeman.
He died in 1985 at the age of 63.