Stephen Vincent Benét (July 22, 1898 – March 13, 1943) was an American author, poet, short story writer, and novelist. Benét is best known for his book-length narrative poem of the American Civil War, John Brown's Body (1928), for which he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1929, and for two short stories, "The Devil and Daniel Webster" and "By the Waters of Babylon". In 2009, The Library of America selected Benét’s story “The King of Cats” for inclusion in its two-century retrospective of American Fantastic Tales, edited by Peter Straub.
Benét was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. His grandfather and namesake led the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps, 1874–1891, with the rank of brigadier general. He was a graduate of the United States Military Academy and served in the American Civil War. His uncle, Laurence Vincent Benet, a West Point-born graduate of Yale, manufactured the French-Hotchkiss machine gun and was an ensign the United States Navy. His father was James Walker Benet, a colonel in the United States Army
At about age ten, Benét was sent to the Hitchcock Military Academy. He graduated from The Albany Academy in Albany, New York and Yale University, where he was "the power behind the Yale Lit", according to Thornton Wilder, a fellow member of the Elizabethan Club. Benet published his first book at age 17. He was awarded an M.A. in English upon submission of his third volume of poetry in lieu of a thesis. Benet was also a part-time contributor for the early Time magazine.