William Joseph Kennedy is an American writer and journalist born and raised in Albany, New York, whose novels, many of which feature the interaction of members of the fictional Irish-American Phelan family, make use of incidents of Albany’s history and the supernatural. Kennedy’s works include ?The Ink Truck? (1969), ?Legs? (1975), ?Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game? (1978), ?Ironweed? (1983, winner of 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; film, 1987), and ?Roscoe? (2002).
He is a graduate of Siena College in Loudonville, New York and currently resides at Averill Park, a hamlet about 16 miles east of Albany. After serving in the Army, Kennedy lived in Puerto Rico where he met his mentor, Saul Bellow, who encouraged him to write novels. Kennedy, who had previously been anxious to leave Albany, returned to his hometown and worked for the Albany Times Union as an investigative journalist writing stories exposing activities of the O’Connell political machine.
He has written a non-fictional account of Albany, ?O Albany!?.