Washington Irving

Washington Irving (April 3, 1783-November 28, 1859) was an American author, biographer, historian, and because of his satirical essays of New York City's fashionable society, the first American author to win recognition in Europe. Irving is best known for his two short stories "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." He is credited with assigning the nickname of "Gotham" to New York City, as later used in the Batman series. His 1812 revisions to A History of New York in which he had St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) soaring over the city in a flying wagon contributed to the revival of the Christmas holiday in the United States. Among other credits, Irving was recognized as the first American "Man of Letters," who earned his living solely by writing.