Zona Gale was born in Portage, Wisconsin on August 26, 1874. Her writing career is said to have started at age seven when she wrote a story on brown paper and wrapped it with string. With the exception of a brief time in Minnesota, Gale lived in Portage until she entered the University of Wisconsin. After college, she spent six years as a journalist in Milwaukee and New York. A visit to Portage in 1903 proved a turning point in her literary life, as seeing the sights and sounds of town life led her to comment that her "old world was full of new possibilities." Gale had found the material she needed for her writing, and returned to Portage in 1904 to concentrate full-time on fiction. Her hometown was the setting and inspiration for nearly all of her work. Gale became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1921. Zona Gale passed away in 1938 in Portage, but her voice will live on through her novels and efforts for women's rights in Wisconsin and around the country.