Will Shortz

Most Influential Person

American puzzle creator and editor

Why Is Will Shortz Influential?

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According to Wikipedia, William F. Shortz is an American puzzle creator and editor and crossword puzzle editor for The New York Times. Early life and education Will Shortz was born and raised on an Arabian horse farm in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He was drawn to puzzles at an early age; in eighth grade he wrote a paper titled “Puzzles as a Profession.” At age 13, Shortz wrote to Language on Vacation author Dmitri Borgmann for advice on how to pursue a career in puzzles. At age 16, Shortz began regularly contributing crossword puzzles to Dell publications. He eventually graduated from Indiana University in 1974, and is the only person known to hold a college degree in enigmatology, the study of puzzles. Shortz wrote his thesis about the history of American word puzzles. Shortz achieved this by designing his own curriculum through Indiana University's Individualized Major Program. He also earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law , but did not sit for the bar exam and began a career in puzzles instead. Shortz is the author or editor of more than 100 books and owns over 20,000 puzzle books and magazines dating back to 1545, reportedly the world's largest private library on the subject. He is a member and historian of the National Puzzlers' League.

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