|Frank McCourt was born in Brooklyn, New York to Irish immigrants. When he was six, his family returned to Ireland, and he spent the remainder of his childhood in Limerick. McCourt came back to New York at the age of 19, and aside from a stint in the U.S. Army, he has lived in one of the five boroughs ever since. McCourt held a wide variety of jobs as a young man, including longshoreman and a stint feeding the birds in the lobby of the Biltmore Hotel (he was demoted when the birds started dying). He worked his way through New York University and became a high school English teacher in the late 1950s. After several years at McKee Vocational High School in Staten Island, McCourt transferred to Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, where he specialized in teaching creative writing. He was much beloved by his students for his skill as a raconteur as well as his teaching. Since retiring in 1987, McCourt has performed in a revue of words and music, entitled "A Couple of Blackguards," which he wrote and starred in with his brother, the actor Malachy McCourt. In 1996, ANGELA'S ASHES, McCourt's memoir of his tough childhood in Limerick, became an international bestseller and garnered several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for autobiography. He followed that with two more enormously popular memoirs, ?TIS and TEACHER MAN, and earned countless more fans through speaking engagements, where he routinely regaled audiences with further tales of his impoverished youth in Ireland and New York. McCourt died from melanoma in 2009 at the age of 78.