Author: John Kennedy Toole
Age: 29

It seems that authors who create great work at a young age are often troubled. John Kennedy Toole famously ended his life before Confederacy of Dunces could be published. It is strange to hear this after reading the rollicking, comically absurd novel, but Toole was deeply depressed and self-critical regarding what he perceived to be his failures. Those who knew him were equally surprised; Toole was a favorite professor at the universities where he taught because of his comedic stylings during lectures.

It seems, however, suicide was something that had been on Toole's mind for some time. He had taken an army buddy to the exact spot where he would end his life three years prior to his suicide. Toole's one other surviving novel, Neon Bible, was written when was just 16 years old.