Karl Friedrich May ( /ˈmaɪ/ my; 25 February 1842 – 30 March 1912) was a popular German writer, noted mainly for adventure novels set in the American Old West, (best known for the characters of Winnetou and Old Shatterhand) and similar books set in the Orient and Middle East (with Kara Ben Nemsi and Hadschi Halef Omar). In addition, he wrote stories set in his native Germany, in China and in South America. May also wrote poetry and a play, and composed music; he was proficient with several musical instruments. Many of his works were filmed, adapted for the stage, processed to audio dramas or transcribed into comics. A highly imaginative and fanciful writer, May never visited the exotic locales featured in his stories.
Asteroid 348 May is named in his honour.