William Inge was born on May 3, 1913 in Independence, Kansas. He got his first taste of the theatre an early age, watching touring shows from the balcony of the local civic center after Boy Scout meetings. Inge graduated from the University of Kansas at Lawrence and the George Peabody College for Teachers before moving to St. Louis, MI where he served as the drama and music critic for the St. Louis Time. An encounter with Tennessee Williams inspired him to try his hand as a playwright. His plays include Farther Off from Heaven, Come Back, Little Sheba (which earned him the title of "most promising playwright of the 1950 Broadway season,"), the Pulitzer Prize-winning Picnic, Bus Stop (which he would later adapt into a popular film starring Marilyn Monroe), The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, A Loss of Roses, Natural Affection, Where's Daddy, and The Last Pad. His screenplay for Splendor in the Grass earned him an Academy Award. Inge died on June 10, 1973.