BiographyBrooklyn, New York, USA
Joseph Heller was born May 1, 1923, in the Coney Island section of New York City. He is best known for his 1961 novel 'Catch-22', whose title gave the English language a new phrase for a no-win situation. The situation was that of protagonist Yossarian, who claims that he is too crazy to fly any more bombing missions, but is told by the military that anyone who seeks to avoid combat must be sane. After high school Heller enlisted in the U.S. Air Force as a bombardier, then transferred to cadet school. Read more... of duty. Heller earned a Bachelor of Arts from New York University in 1948, a Master of Arts from Columbia University in 1949 and a Fulbright Scholarship to Oxford University. He taught English at Pennsylvania State University, wrote advertising copy for Time and Look magazines, and was a promotion manager for McCall's magazine. Teaching jobs at Yale University and University of Pennsylvania followed, as well as television and screen-writing work.