John Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California. Steinbeck dropped out of college and worked as a manual laborer before achieving success as a writer. His 1939 novel, The Grapes of Wrath, about the migration of a family from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl to California, won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Other novels by the author include Tortilla Flat, Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row and East of Eden. Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. He died in New York City on December 20, 1968.