Bill Bryson (born December 8, 1951) is a best-selling American author of humorous books on travel, as well as books on the English language and on scientific subjects. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, he was educated at Drake University but dropped out in August 1973 while on vacation in England. Bryson then began working in a psychiatric hospital in Virginia Water, Surrey. Here he met his English wife, a hospital nurse, and they settled in England in 1977, remaining there until 1995. Living in North Yorkshire and mainly working as a journalist, he eventually became chief copy editor of the business section of The Times and then deputy national news editor of the business section of The Independent. He left journalism in 1987. Bryson returned to live in the United States in 1995, residing in Hanover, New Hampshire for some years. In 2003, however, Bryson and his family returned to England, where they now live once again. In 2005, Bryson was appointed Chancellor of the University of Durham, a city he had praised as "a perfect little city" in his book Notes from a Small Island, and awarded an honorary degree from the University of St Andrews.