John Betjeman was born in 1906 in London, and went to the Highgate Junior School, where his teachers included T.S. Eliot. After leaving Oxford without a degree, Betjeman was briefly a schoolmaster, then worked for Shell as Editor of their Town Guides, and for the Architectural Review. An increasingly popular poet and television personality, he published his long autobiographical poem SUMMONED BY BELLS in 1960, the same year he was awarded his CBE. He was knighted in 1968 and appointed Poet Laureate in 1974. He died in 1984.