Alfred Joyce Kilmer (professionally known as Joyce Kilmer) was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on December 6, 1886, the son of Frederick Barnett Kilmer and Annie Ellene Kilburn. He attended Rutgers University before graduating from Columbia University in 1908. He taught high school Latin in Morristown, New Jersey, until moving to New York City the following year. In New York, he worked in the publishing industry and as a writer, publishing his most famous poem, "Trees," in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse in August 1913. During World War I, Kilmer served in the 7th Regiment of the New York National Guard and the 165th Infantry Regiment of the United States Army. Kilmer was killed on July 30, 1918, while serving in France. He and his wife, Aline Murray, had five children, including Kenton Sinclair, Rose, Deborah Clanton, Michael Barry, and Christopher. Kilmer's work, including both poetry and prose writings, was published during his lifetime and after his death.