Known for his use of irony and dark humor, Kurt Vonnegut was born on November 11, 1922, in Indianapolis, Indiana. After enlisting in the U.S. Air Force in 1943, he was captured by the Germans and held as a prisoner of war in Dresden during World War II. He was one of the few survivors of the 1945 firebombing of the city by virtue of being held in a slaughterhouse. This experience would later serve as the inspiration for his most famous novel, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), which combines a nonlinear plot, tropes borrowed from science fiction, and dark absurdism to create a trenchant critique of war. Other well-known works include the novels Cat’s Cradle (1963) and Breakfast of Champions (1973), though he also produced numerous short story collections, essays, and plays. He died in 2007.