Thornton Wilder was an American playwright, novelist, and essayist. Born in 1897 in Madison, Wisconsin, Wilder was the only writer to win Pulitzer Prizes for both drama and fiction. His plays, which involve minimal staging and often address the audience directly, were considered boundary breaking in their time and are still widely performed today. The recipient of many honors—including three Pulitzer Prizes, a National Book Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom—Wilder is perhaps best known for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and the plays Our Town (1938) and The Skin of Our Teeth (1942), which are considered classic works of twentieth-century American literature. He died in Connecticut in 1975.