Frank McCourtwriter, teacher
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
Publishing phenomenon whose 1996 account of his miserable Irish childhood, Angela's Ashes, remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 117 weeks, propelling the 67-year-old retired school teacher to wealth and fame. In 1997, Angela's Ashes won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle award, and the LA Times Book Award. Born in Depression-era Brooklyn, McCourt's immigrant parents returned to Limerick when he was four. Before abandoning the family, McCourt's alcoholic father instilled in his son a love of story telling. At age 19, McCourt returned to New York and his subsequent American adventures are recounted in 'Tis (1999) and Teacher Man (2005). Angela's Ashes was adapted for the big screen in 1999 and starred Emily Watson. McCourt lives in New York City and Connecticut with his third wife, Ellen.