Richard Matheson was born on February 20, 1926 in Allendale, New Jersey. He was eight when his stories appeared in a local newspaper, the Brooklyn Eagle. He served during World War II. He received a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in 1949. In 1950 he first was noticed as an upcoming writer-to-watch, starting with the short story Born of Man and Woman. He wrote numerous novels and short stories during his lifetime including I am Legend, The Shrinking Man, What Dreams May Come, and Hell House. He won the World Fantasy Convention's Life Achievement Award, the Bram Stoker Award for Life Achievement, the Hugo Award, the Golden Spur Award, and the Writer's Guild Award. He also was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010.
When Hollywood approached him for the rights to his novel The Shrinking Man, he negotiated the chance to write the screenplay. This began a long career in screenwriting and adapting. He wrote the screenplay for Steven Spielberg's Duel and 16 episodes of the television series The Twilight Zone. He won an Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1973 for The Night Stalker. He died on June 23, 2013 at the age of 87.