Charles Bukowski

Born: 1920

Charles Bukowski was born in Germany, shortly after World War I, to a German mother and American soldier father. When he was two years, eight months old, his parents put him on a ship and brought him to the United States, where they settled in Los Angeles, California, near the father's family. Shortly after America joined World War II, Bukowski left Los Angeles, traveling to various cities around the country, spending the bulk of his time in Philadelphia and New Orleans. In 1947 he returned to Los Angeles, where he lived for the remainder of his life.  In 1954, Bukowski suffered an internal hemorrhage and spent nine days on the cusp of death in Los Angeles County Hospital. After that experience, he began writing much more poetry and quickly became one of the most unique and influential voices in 20th-century American poetry.  In fact, at the time of his death in 1994, Bukowski had written over 5,300 poems and stories. And those are only the titles that we know of. There were likely hundreds more that were written—and subsequently lost—in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, before he began keeping copies of his work. Source