Study Guide

Joseph Heller Biography

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Joseph Heller was born on May 1, 1923, in New York City, and grew up near the Coney Island amusement park.

His parents, recent Russian immigrants, spoke little English, and his father died when Joseph was only five years old. After graduating from high school, Heller joined the Army Air Corps in 1942, was stationed on Corsica, Italy, and flew sixty bombing missions in a B-25 before being discharged in 1945.

Heller entered college after the war, earning a bachelor's degree from New York University followed by a master's degree from Columbia University, and studied for a year at Oxford on a Fulbright scholarship. He returned from England in 1950 and taught English at Pennsylvania State University but left to work in magazine advertising because he felt uncomfortable in the academic world.

In 1945 Heller began publishing short stories in magazines such as Story, Esquire, and the Atlantic Monthly, but it was not...

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This section contains 250 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Catch-22 Study Guide
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Catch-22 from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.