Author of three memoirs, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt was able to turn a difficult childhood in Ireland into reliable source material for his books. McCourt was born in New York City during the Great Depression. When his Irish immigrant parents were unable to find work in New York, they brought the family back to Ireland, but their fortunes did not improve. McCourt and his family endured years of poverty, illness, and malnutrition in Ireland. When McCourt was 19, he moved back to New York City and was quickly drafted into the military to fight in Germany during World War II. Afterwards, he used the G.I. Bill to attend college, and became a high school teacher for many years. McCourt passed away on July 19, 2009 at the age of 78.