Stephen King may be my favorite, but more or less because of the books. He's a great intuitive writer, and it's a joy to pick up on his references and nuances (when I recognize them).
Henry David Thoreau- I recently finished reading Walden and Civil Disobedience and really really understand and am passionate about his ideals. He also knows how to use words in a creative way.
J. D. Salinger- numerous books he have published I love, i.e: Cather in the Rye.
J.R.R. Tolkein- I need not say. He is brilliant.