An American novelist and short story writer who drew inspiration from the Catholic Church, he is known for works such as Morte d'Urban, The Presence of Grace, and Look How the Fish Live. His 1947 short story, The Valiant Woman, won the prestigious O. Henry Prize.
He studied English and philosophy at Wright Junior College and Northwestern University.
He was a conscientious objector during World War II and served time in prison.
With his wife, Betty Wahl, he had five children.
His work was praised by Walker Percy, author of The Moviegoer.