Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born in 1890 in Rhode Island, USA. Although a sickly boy, Lovecraft began writing at a very young age, quickly developing a deep and abiding interest in science. At just sixteen he was writing a monthly astronomy column for his local newspaper. However, in 1908, Lovecraft suffered a nervous breakdown and failed to get into university, sparking a period of five years in which he all but vanished.
In 1913, Lovecraft was invited to join the UAPA (United Amateur Press Association) – a development which re-invigorated his writing. In 1917, he began to focus on fiction, producing such well-known early stories as Dagon and A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson. In 1924, Lovecraft married and moved to New York, but he disliked life there intensely, and struggled to find work.
A few years later, penniless and now divorced, he returned to Rhode Island. It was here, during the last decade of his life, that Lovecraft produced the vast majority of his best-known fiction, including The Dunwich Horror, The Shadow over Innsmouth, The Thing on the Doorstep and arguably his most famous story, The Call of Cthulhu. Having suffered from cancer of the small intestine for more than a year, Lovecraft died in March of 1937.