Donald Culross Peattie (1898–1964) was one of the most influential American nature writers of the twentieth century. Peattie was born in Chicago and grew up in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, which sparked his interest in the immense wonders of nature. He studied at the University of Chicago and Harvard University. After working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he decided to pursue a career as a writer. In 1925 he became a nature columnist for the Washington Star and went on to pen more than twenty fiction and nonfiction books over the next five decades. Widely acclaimed and popular in his day, Peattie's work has inspired a modern age of nature writing.