T.S. Eliot was born Thomas Stearns Eliot, in St. Louis, Missouri in 1888. He studied at Harvard University, and went on to study philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. Settling in London, Eliot began a lifelong friendship with the poet, Ezra Pound, who encouraged Eliot to publish his own poetry. While working as a bank clerk, Eliot also pursued his literary career, writing poetry and literary criticism.
In 1922, Eliot published his landmark poem "The Wasteland", which became one of the most influential works on postwar disillusionment during the early twentieth century. Eliot gave up his banking career in 1925 to focus on writing full-time, and he became a British citizen two years later. He went on to found the influential literary journal, Criterion, and mentored many young poets at the publishing house, Faber & Faber.
Other major poetical works included "The Hollow Men" (1925), "Ash Wednesday" (1930), and "Four Quartets" (1943). Eliot also wrote for the theater and produced seven plays, notably Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Cocktail Party (1949).
In 1948, T.S. Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.