Edgar Laurence Doctorow was born in New York City on January 6, 1931. As an undergraduate, Doctorow attended Kenyon College. After graduating from Kenyon, he enrolled at Columbia University.
Although he held many positions in his life including editor-in-chief of a newspaper and a college professor, Doctorow is best known for his historical novels. In 1971, Doctorow published The Book of Daniel, a fictional work about a boy whose parents had been executed under circumstances similar to the Rosenberg case. The book was turned into a movie Daniel nearly a decade later. Doctorow's most well known works include Ragtime, published in 1975 and Billy Bathgate, published in 1989, both of which were later the basis of films.