Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is most noted for his novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel."

Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion's newspaper. After toiling as a printer in various cities, he became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion. He was a failure at gold mining, so he next turned to journalism. While a reporter, he wrote a humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," which became very popular and brought nationwide attention. His travelogues were also well received. Twain had found his calling.

He achieved great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

He lacked financial acumen, and though he made a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he squandered it on various ventures, in particular the Paige Compositor, and was forced to declare bankruptcy. With the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers he eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain worked hard to ensure that all of his creditors were paid in full, even though his bankruptcy had relieved him of the legal responsibility.

Twain was born during a visit by Halley's Comet, and he predicted that he would "go out with it" as well. He died the day following the comet's subsequent return. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age," and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature."

Read more about Mark Twain:  Early Life, Travels, Marriage and Children, Love of Science and Technology, Financial Troubles, Speaking Engagements, Later Life and Death, Friendship With Henry H. Rogers, Views, Pen Names, Honors, Depictions

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Famous quotes by mark twain:

    The lack of money is the root of all evil.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    Mark Twain didn’t psychoanalyze Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer. Dickens didn’t put Oliver Twist on the couch because he was hungry! Good copy comes out of people, Johnny, not out of a lot of explanatory medical terms.
    Samuel Fuller (b. 1911)

    As the two boys walked sorrowing along, they made a new compact to stand by each other and be brothers and never separate till death relieved them of their troubles. Then they began to lay their plans. Joe was for being a hermit, and living on crusts in a remote cave, and dying, some time, of cold, and want, and grief; but after listening to Tom, he conceded that there were some conspicuous advantages about a life of crime, and so he consented to be a pirate.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    I can understand German as well as the maniac that invented it, but I talk it best through an interpreter.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)