William Zinsser (b. 1922)

American journalist, editor, and educator. Born in New York City, Zinsser graduated from Princeton University and then served in the army for two years at the end of World War II. In 1946 he joined the staff of the New York Herald Tribune, first as a features editor, then as a drama editor and film critic, and finally as an editorial writer. A freelancer throughout the 1960s, Zinsser contributed to Life, Look, the New York Times Magazine, and other publications. In the 1970s he joined the English faculty at Yale University, where he taught nonfiction writing and edited the alumni magazine. Zinsser wrote seventeen books ranging from travel to jazz to baseball, but he is best known for On Writing Well (1976, 1998), a classic guide to clear, economical nonfiction writing. Recently, he has published the memoir Writing Places: The Life Journey of a Writer and Teacher (2009). See also williamzinsserwriter.com.