The first Japanese author popularized in the West, Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927) restated old legends and medieval history in modernist psychological terms. A prolific writer of naturalistic "slice of life" short fiction, he produced 150 stories and novellas that address human dilemmas and struggles of conscience tinged with gothic darkness. Contributing to his mystique was his rapid mental decline and suicide at age the age of 35.
Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963) had an unexceptional life until the fateful day of November 22, 1963 when he allegedly assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Two days after the momentous event Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby, before he could be tried. A year later the Warren Commission, headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, reported that Oswald was the lone assassin of President Kennedy. That assertion is still the center of much controversy as many believe the assassination was a conspiracy.