His body of work is sparse, yet his influence huge. J.D. Salinger is probably best known for The Catcher in the Rye, which was published in 1951 and quickly became a bestseller.
Whether he was years ahead of his time, or able to write on timeless topics, Catcher touched on adolescent anger with a tone and a twinge of irony that had never been seen before. And though Salinger hadn't written anything for publication since 1965, for many reading Catcher and relating to its main character, Holden Caulfield, is still a teenage rite of passage today.
The character, a misanthrope who held great disdain for "phonies," may very well have been one close to J.D. Salinger's heart. Rather than capitalizing on his literary fame he abhorred it, choosing to live a private life in Cornish, N.H. He spent many years living quietly and in good health, yet this past year those that knew him state that his health had taken a sudden decline. Though he suffered a broken hip this last May, his literary representatives, Harold Ober Associates have stated that the author died peacefully and of natural causes.