Paul Zindel [1936–2003] … earned the [Pulitzer Prize] in 1971 for one of his eight plays, 'The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.' He also authored 39 novels, including 'My Darling, My Hamburger' and 'The Pigman,' which are still widely read in high schools across the country. As a child, he moved frequently from place to place on Staten Island with his mother and sisters after his father abandoned them, an experience that profoundly shaped his later writings. He graduated [from] Port Richmond High School. At Wagner College, he majored in chemistry, while studying creative writing with playwright Edward Albee. [Zindel earned his bachelor's in 1958 and master's in 1962, and received an honorary doctorate in 1971.] He briefly worked for Allied Chemical and taught science at Tottenville High School until 1969. His “zany stories” and performances kept teenage audiences “screaming with delight.”
— An excerpt from Discovering Staten Island: A 350th Anniversary Commemorative History (History Press, 2011), edited by Kenneth M. Gold and Lori Weintrob, professor of history at Wagner College. Used with permission.