Distinguished and internationally read author Irving Stone penned many biographical novels over his long career. Before becoming a full-time writer, Stone studied political science and economics on teaching fellowships at U.S.C. and Berkeley. He was inspired to write his fictionalized biographies during a visit to Paris in 1926. There he saw an exhibit of Van Gogh's masterpieces and was so deeply moved that he began intensive research into the troubled painter's life. The result was Lust for Life, which was eventually made into a film starring Kirk Douglas in 1956. Other Stone works that have been adapted into films include Magnificent Doll (1946), The President's Lady (1953), and The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965).