William Golding was born in Cornwall, England on September 19, 1911. Although educated to be a scientist at the request of his father, he developed an interest in literature. At Oxford University, he studied natural science for two years and then transferred to a program for English literature and philosophy. He eventually became a schoolmaster at Bishop Wordsworths School in Salisbury. During World War II, he joined the Royal Navy and was involved in the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck. After the war, he returned to Bishop Wordsworths School and taught there until 1962. His first novel, Lord of the Flies, was published in 1954 and was made into a film in 1963. His other novels include The Inheritors, Free Fall, The Spire, The Pyramid, The Paper Men, Close Quarters, and Fire down Below. He won the Booker Prize for Rites of Passage in 1980 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983. He also wrote plays, essays, and short stories. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988. He died on June 19, 1993.