Author and journalist Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois. After high school, Hemingway left for the Italian front to become an ambulance driver during World War I; his experiences there became the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms. During his lifetime, he published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works; further works were brought out after his death. Hemingway's understated writing style had a huge influence on 20th century fiction, which, coupled with his adventurous lifestyle and rugged appearance, made him a true American icon. Much has been written about him; many consider Ernest Hemingway; A Life Story to be one of the best of the biographies.