Lawrence Block was an award-winning crime novelist who was best known for his series that featured the characters Matthew Scudder and Bernie Rhodenbarr. He was born on June 24, 1938 in Buffalo, New York. In his youth, Block was a prolific writer. He attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, but his restlessness prompted him to leave for New York before earning his degree. His decades-long career as a writer started from the very bottom, writing softcore pornography stories under the pseudonym Andrew Shaw as an intern in the 1950s. During his apprenticeship, he met fellow mystery author Donald E. Westlake, the creator of the Parker and John Dortmunder novels, and the two collaborated in several erotic novels under the aliases Sheldon Lord and Alan Marshall; the pair became lifelong friends. In 1958, he published his first short story under his own name titled "You Can't Lose," which appeared in the pulp crime fiction magazine <i>Manhunt</i>. Three years later, he published <i>Mona</i> (1961), the first novel to appear under his own name. As Block began to hit his stride as an author, he went on to create two of his popular characters, Matthew Scudder and Bernie Rhodenbarr. An alcoholic ex-cop turned private investigator, Matthew Scudder was the central figure of over a dozen of Block's novel, first appearing in the 1976 novel, <i>The Sins of the Fathers</i>. While Scudder was the typical hard-boiled protagonist that was often found in mystery novels, Bernie Rhodenbarr was his lighthearted comic counterpart. An expert thief with a day job as an antiquarian bookseller, Bernie made his debut in <i>Burglars Can't Be Choosers</i> (1977), which showed readers Block's versatility as an adept author of both noir and comic mystery.