I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1914....and never did well at mathematics, was unable to learn calculus, and never took a mathematiocs course beyond high school.
After serving in the navy in WWII, I graduated from University of Chicago with a degree in philosophy....and was a mathematical Platonist with sprinkles of formalism tossed in at times.
Most of my life was spent as a freelance writer (starting as Editor of Humpty Dumpty) of mathematical notions, while living on Euclid Avenue in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
I wrote hundreds of magazine articles and more than sixty books, on subjects ranging from recreational mathematics to paranormal pheneomena to stage magic.
Oddly, my best selling work is an annotated version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, which explains many of the mathematical riddles, wordplay, and literary references included in these books.
In 1987, the American Mathematical Society awarded me its Steel Prize for Mathematical Exposition.
Many people quote my 1995 admission: "I just play all the time and am fortunate enough to get paid for it."
Martin Gardner, 1914 - 2010