An American author, he is best remembered for his literary manual, The Elements of Style. This guide to the English language is familiar to college students throughout the United States.
An expert on English literature, he published analyses of Shakespeare's verse and later worked as a consultant on the MGM film production of Romeo and Juliet.
He initially wrote The Elements of Style for the private use of his students at Cornell University. However, at the suggestion of a former pupil, he decided to publish the now-popular manual.
He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He and his three siblings were the children of William and Ella Garretson Strunk.
Borrowing a phrase from Robert Louis Stevenson, he advised his students to have "one moment of felicity" in their writing.