A legendary chronicler of the denizens of New York's Great White Way for over four decades, Damon Runyon was a newspaper columnist and author whose stories about the hoods and heroes of Broadway made him one of America's most popular writers from the 1920s through the late 1940s. Runyon began as a sports writer who focused on the game's human element rather than the statistics; his democratic approach to his subjects translated well to his Broadway stories, which viewed sinner and saint alike as citizens trying to make their own way in one of the world's biggest and most complex cities. Key to Runyon's popularity was his idiosyncratic style, which lent a mock courtliness to his underworld figures that elevated them beyond their social positions. His stories later served as the inspiration for countless Hollywood films, including Frank Capra's "Lady for a Day" (1933), "Little Miss Marker" (1934) with Shirley Temple, and the blockbuster musical "Guys and Dolls" (1955), based on the Tony-winning Broadway musical. His unique approach to storytelling eventually became its own genre, with the term "Runyonesque" describing a colorful take on eclectic characters of ill repute. The humor and humanity of his stories and the adaptations they inspired made Damon Runyon one of the 20th century's most enduring authors.