American journalist, writer, 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, eventually becoming an editorial writer. A freelancer through-out 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's nineteen books range in subject 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, as well as the memoir Writing Places: The Life Journey of a Writer and Teacher (2009). His award-winning columns from the American Scholar have been collected in The Writer Who Stayed (2012). See also williamzinsserwriter.com.