W. Somerset Maugham

(William Somerset Maugham)
novelist, playwright, and short story writer
Born: 1/25/1874
Birthplace: Paris, France

Although he was most well known as an author, W. Somerset Maugham had a varied professional life that included obstetrics and a stint as a secret agent during World War I. The success of his first novel, Liza of Lambeth (1897), persuaded him to quit medicine for writing. He is most famous for four novels, Of Human Bondage (1915), The Moon and Sixpence (1919), Cakes and Ale (1930), and The Razor's Edge (1944). His plays were popular in their day and at one time four of them ran simultaneously in London. His short stories are considered among the best in English.

Died: Nice, France, 12/16/1965