Washington Irving (1783-1859) was an author and attorney who for all intents and purposes invented American literature. His short stories “Rip Van Winkle” (1819) and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (1820) are still taught to this day. He also wrote nonfiction, including a five-volume biography of George Washington. He served in the New York State militia during the War of 1812 and spent 17 years in Europe, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate of civil law from Oxford in 1831. He came home to live in Tarrytown, New York in 1835, where he died. He was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, 540 North Broadway in Sleepy Hollow, Westchester County, New York. The Village of North Tarrytown changed its name to Sleepy Hollow in 1996.