"Kris Kristofferson" (born June 22, 1936) is an influential country music songwriter, singer and actor. He is best known for hits like "Me and Bobby McGee", "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", and "Help Me Make It Through the Night". Kristofferson is the sole author of most of his songs, but he has collaborated with various other figures of the Nashville scene.
Although born in Brownsville, Texas, he moved around much as a youth, finally settling down in San Mateo, California, where he graduated from high school. Kristofferson's father was an Air Force general who pushed his son toward a military career. An aspiring writer, Kristofferson earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University (Merton College, Oxford) after previously attending Pomona College. While in England, Kristofferson began writing songs and working with his manager Larry Parnes; he recorded for Top Rank Records under the name "Kris Carson", but was unsuccessful.
In 1960, Kristofferson graduated with a master's degree in English literature and married an old girlfriend, Fran Beer. His studies of literature are reflected in his song, "The Best of All Possible Worlds"; the French writer Voltaire satirized simi...