EL (Edgar Lawrence) Doctorow (1931 - 2015) was born in the Bronx to second generation Russian Jewish parents. He was even named after Edgar Allen Poe and started writing as a child for his school magazine. He wrote his first novel "Welcome to Hard Times" at the age of 28, as a parody of the Western film scripts he had to read as reader for a film company. He worked as an editor for Ian Fleming and Norman Mailer, while at the same time writing for himself before taking up writing full time in 1969. In all he wrote 12 novels and three volumes of short stories, plus a stage play. EL Doctorow's novels set characters in an historical context including notable famous personages from that era. Many of his books were later made into film, among which "Welcome to Hard Times," the 1971 "The Book of Daniel," a fictional reworking of the Rosenburg trial, the award winning 1975 book "Ragtime" and "Billy Bathgate."