Tennessee Williams (born Thomas Lanier Williams, March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983) was an American writer who primarily worked in American theater writing plays. He also wrote short stories, novels, essays and occasional screenplays. His professional career lasted from the mid 1930s to his death in 1983; during this time he wrote many plays that have become regarded as classics of the American stage. He received many of the top theatrical awards for his works of drama, including a Tony Award for best play for The Rose Tattoo in 1951 and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1955. In 1980 he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter.