Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, born on 22 May 1859, in Edinburgh, Scotland was many men in one. He was a physician by profession but later turned to fulltime writing and became one of the best known authors in the history of English literature. He was also an ophthalmologist, a foot ball player, a cricketer, a golfer, a pilot, a body builder and a politician.
Doyle called himself 'a born wanderer' and he had many other interests including driving fast cars and riding hot air balloons. Although Conan Doyle earned most of his fame through creating the character of the private detective Sherlock Holmes, his writing touched many diverse fields such as poetry, historical novels, plays and romances and he was one of the earliest writers of science fiction. He has also written many non fiction books on various subjects.
A master story teller, Conan Doyle inherited his passion for books and story telling from his mother Mary Foley. He married twice and had five children from his two wives. He was knighted in 1902 by King Edward VII for his services to the Crown during the Boer War. Some say that the King was such a big fan of Sherlock Holmes that he had included Conan Doyle's name on his Honours List as an encouragement for the author. Conan Doyle died of a heart attack at the age of 71.