Author Norman Mailer was born to a Jewish family and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He entered Harvard University at age 16. Mailer wrote 12 novels over a 59-year span and twice won the Pulitzer Prize. In 1948, while continuing his studies at the University of Paris, Mailer published his first novel, The Naked and the Dead, based on his military service in World War II. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Naked and the Dead, as 51st on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.