Cornell Woolrich (1903-68) was born in New York but spent much of his childhood being shunted between his father, a civil engineer in Latin America, and his mother who was socially prominent in New York. In the early 1929s he went to Columbia College but left before graduating to write. He published six novels before his first crime story appeared in 1934. His first mystery novel, The Bride Wore Black, appeared in 1940 and very quickly established itself as a classic of the genre. When he died he left an estate of close to a million dollars to Columbia University for scholarships in creative writing.