Peter Shaffer was born in 1926. He worked as a coal-miner, but eventually received a scholarship and went to Cambridge University. He wrote his first play The Salt Land while working for the New York Public Library.

He has gone on to be one of Britain's major playwrights. Several of his plays have also been adapted and found success on the screen. He was awarded Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in the 2001 New Year's Honours List for his services to drama.

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