One of the first noted American authors to be highly acclaimed in Europe during his life time, Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) wrote numerous short stories, biographies, histories, and tales of his travels. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," first published in 1820, is variously regarded as a Gothic tale and a modern folk story about the early history of the United States of America. The story is most famous for the strange encounter between a superstitious schoolmaster named Ichabod Crane and the ghost of the Headless Horseman, said to be a Hessian soldier who lost his head to a cannon ball during the Revolutionary War. He is believed to be always in search of his head. Many of Irving's works have inspired adaptations to the stage and film. It was Irving who affixed the nickname "Gotham" — an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "Goat's Town" — to New York City. The spirited narration is by Oscar nominated an Emmy Award Winning Special Makeup Effects Artist, Edward E. French.