|Although he only published one novel, two novellas, and a handful of short stories, Jerome David "J.D." Salinger was one of the most admired and least understood American writers of the 20th century. Salinger's classic 1951 novel THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is still widely considered to be the most accurate fictional depiction of adolescent angst ever written and has become one of the most popular books ever written in English. However, after its publication, Salinger traded up his literary stardom for mythic status by completely receding from his public life, ceasing to publish his work, and spending the last 58 years of his life in complete seclusion on his estate in New Hampshire.||Born in 1919, Salinger grew up in New York City, the son of a Jewish father and a Scotch-Irish mother; his father sold cheese and smoked meats. Like Holden Caulfield, his most famous literary creation, Salinger flunked out of multiple prestigious private schools, and he was eventually sent away to attend Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania. He seemed to adapt well to the disciplined environment at Valley Forge, where he edited the school yearbook, managed the school fencing team, and even composed a new school song. The young Salinger harbored aspirations of becoming a writer, even as he dropped out of New York University and made an abbreviated attempt to learn the family food business, and his short stories began to be accepted by increasingly prominent magazines in the late 1930s and early 1940s. But the trajectory of his life and his writing career was irrevocably altered when he was drafted into the army in 1942. Salinger fought in some of the fiercest battles of the European Theatre of World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge, and he was among the first American soldiers to liberate a concentration camp. He wrote about his wartime experience, obliquely, in several short stories, most notably "For Esmé, With Love and Squalor." After being treated for battle fatigue at the end of the war, Salinger returned to New York and published an impressive series of stories in "The New Yorker," including the superlative "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," which first introduced readers to the Glass family, a collective of erudite misfits who would occupy most of his later work. During these years, Salinger was twice married and twice divorced, having two children by his second wife, and he would later marry his third wife in the late 1980s. In 1952, he left New York and moved to Cornish, New Hampshire, where he lived as a recluse on 99 acres at the top of a hill, with a view of five states. Though there have been reports that he continued to write throughout his life, Salinger published nothing after 1965, and he vigorously pursued legal action against several parties who attempted to make unauthorized use of his work. He died of natural causes at his home in 2010.