Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890–1937) was an American horror fiction author who earned a major cult after living much of his own life in obscurity. His work, most notably pulp stories like The Call of Cthulu, has influenced artists, musicians, video game developers, and many more. Lovecraft remains an enigmatic figure in history's eye -- somewhat reclusive, certainly not self-confident -- and died in poverty at the young age of 46. 

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."

-H.P. Lovecraft, 1927, from "Supernatural Horror in Literature." (h/t Wikiquote)