Kristoffer "Kris" Kristofferson (born June 22, 1936) is an American country music singer, songwriter, musician, and film actor. He is known for such hits as "Me and Bobby McGee", "For the Good Times", "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", and "Help Me Make It Through the Night". Kristofferson is the sole writer of most of his songs, and he has collaborated with various other figures of the Nashville scene such as Shel Silverstein. In 1985, Kristofferson joined fellow country artists Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash in forming the country music supergroup "The Highwaymen". In 2004, Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Kristoffer Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas, to Mary Ann (née Ashbrook) and Lars Henry Kristofferson, a U.S. Army Air Corps officer (later a U.S. Air Force Major General). His paternal grandparents emigrated from Sweden, while his mother had Scots-Irish ancestry. Kristofferson's paternal grandfather was an officer in the Swedish Army. When Kristoffer was a child, his father pushed him towards a military career. Like most "military brats", Kristofferson moved around frequently as a youth, finally settling down in San Mateo, California, where he graduated from San Mateo High School. An aspiring writer, Kristofferson enrolled in Pomona College in 1954. He experienced his first dose of fame when he appeared in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd" for his achievements in collegiate rugby union, football, and track and field. He and fellow classmates revived the Claremont Colleges Rugby Club in 1958, which has remained a Southern California rugby dynasty. Kris became a member of Kappa Delta at Pomona College, graduating in 1958 with a BA, summa cum laude in Literature. In a 2004 interview with Pomona College Magazine, Kristofferson mentioned philosophy professor Frederick Sontag as an important influence in his life.