Jean Webster, an American novelist and playwright, was born Alice Jane Chandler Webster on 24 July 1876 in Fredonia, New York. She was the eldest child of Annie Moffet Webster (a niece of Mark Twain) and Charles Luther Webster. Webster grew up in a strongly matriarchal and activist family atmosphere. She went on to major in English and economics from Vassar College in 1901. As part of her course, she started visiting and taking a keen interest in institutions for orphaned and delinquent children. These experiences provided material for novels like When Patty Went to College (1903) and Daddy-Long-Legs (1912). She married Glenn Ford McKinney in 1915. Webster continued to write and publish with books like Jerry Junior (1907) and The Four Pools Mystery (1908), but achieved her first real commercial and critical success with Daddy-Lo.