William McGuire Bryson (; born 8 December 1951) is an American–British author of nonfiction books on topics including travel, the English language, and science. Born in the United States, he has been a resident of Britain for most of his adult life, returning to the U.S. between 1995 and 2003, and holds dual American and British citizenship. He served as the chancellor of Durham University from 2005 to 2011.Bryson came to prominence in the United Kingdom with the publication and accompanying television series of Notes from a Small Island (1995), an exploration of Britain. He received widespread recognition again with the publication of A Short History of Nearly Everything (2003), a book widely acclaimed for its accessible communication of science. In October 2020 he announced that he had "retired" from writing books.