Richard Brautigan was an American novelist, poet and short story writer. His work often employs black comedy, parody and satire. He is best known for Trout Fishing in America (1967), In Watermelon Sugar (1968) and Willard and His Bowling Trophies: A Perverse Mystery (1975). Brautigan was born on January 30, 1935. Growing up, his family lived on welfare and moved about the Pacific Northwest before settling in Eugene, Oregon in 1944. In 1956, Brautigan left home for San Francisco, where he became involved in the counterculture, or Beat, scene. Many years later, on approximately September 16, 1984, he died of a self-inflicted .44 Magnum gunshot wound to the head, though his body was not discovered for almost six weeks.