British poet and author (1865-1936). Full name: Joseph Rudyard Kipling. He was born in Bombay, India, where he spent the first five years of his life. After a few years of schooling in England (which he strongly disliked, as the people he and his sister were boarded with were very cruel), he returned to India when he was 16 years old. He spent another six years working at newspapers in British India, which gave him an appreciation for how the common man saw life. He also published a number of collections of his short stories.
He traveled to Japan in 1889, then on to America, where he met Mark Twain. After that, he traveled to England, where he quickly became a literary sensation. He got married to an American woman in 1892 and soon settled near his wife's family in Vermont. His only son enlisted underage in the British Army and was killed in World War I -- Kipling grieved bitterly. Though he remained a supporter of the British Empire, more anti-war sentiments made their way into his work.
His best known books included "The Jungle Book" and "Kim" (and both were actually written in Vermont), but a number of his short stories, nearly always set in his beloved India, were beautifully written.
He was considered a reactionary by some of his peers because he was a solid supporter of British imperialism. He displayed tolerance of many different religions, including Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, but he was not himself a particularly religious man. He was unquestionably conservative, but he vehemently hated fascism. He received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907, but refused the Order of Merit.
For more on the works of Kipling ("Do you like Kipling?" "I don't know -- I've never Kipled." Ho Ho, me so funny), check out some of these nodes:
How the Leopard Got His Spots
Rudyard Kipling: Verses 1889-1896
A Song of Kabir
Research from GURPS Who's Who, compiled by Phil Masters, "Rudyard Kipling" by William H. Stoddard, pp. 112-113.