Playwright William M. Inge was born in Independence, Kansas on May 3, 1913. Inge wrote several hit plays including Come Back, Little Sheba, Bus Stop, and Picnic, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. His first play, Farther Off From Heaven (1947), was revised ten years later for Broadway as The Dark at the Top of the Stairs. Many of his plays were made into films and, in 1961, Inge won an Academy Award for his original screenplay Splendor in the Grass.
Photographer Gordon Parks was a contemporary of William Inge. He was born less than six months prior to Inge on November 30, 1912 in Kansas. He also pursued a career in the arts. Parks began taking photographs during the Great Depression and was earning his living as a self-taught fashion photographer by 1940. A fellowship allowed him to come to Washington, D.C., in 1942 and work for the Farm Security Administration. Working through the medium of photography, Parks went on to become one of America's finest social commentators. His autobiography, A Choice of Weapons, was published in 1965.