Breece D’J Pancake was born in in Charleston, West Virginia in 1952. His unusual middle name ‘D'J’ originated from a misprint of Pancake's middle initials by The Atlantic Monthly (D.J. for Dexter John) when Pancake's first published story, ‘Trilobites’ was published in 1977. Pancake decided not to correct it. In 1979, when he was just twenty-six, Pancake died from a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. He was buried in Milton, Virginia.