An important Irish playwright, poet, and author, he most famously wrote the The Playboy of the Western World, a 1907 dramatic work. His other works include Riders to the Sea, The Tinker's Wedding, and Deirdre of the Sorrows.
He studied music in Germany before enrolling as a literature student at The Sorbonne in Paris.
He died of Hodgkin's Lymphoma shortly before his thirty-eighth birthday.
He was one of eight children born into an upper-middle-class Protestant family in Dublin, Ireland.
He and William Butler Yeats were founders of the renowned Abbey Theatre in Dublin.