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Edgar Allan Poe
Date: 1809 - 1849
Remarks: Poe, one of the first American literary figures to receive international recognition, was born in Boston. He was orphaned at an early age and raised by John Allan, a successful tobacco dealer of Richmond, VA. After attending the University of Virginia he joined the army and was given an appointment to West Point, from which he was soon expelled. By then his literary talent had already shown itself in his "Tamerlane and Other Poems," published in 1827, and in his "Poems" of 1831. He then turned to writing short stories and for most of the rest of h is life worked as critic and literary editor of popular magazines such as the Southern Literary Messenger and Graham's Magazine, in which his sotiries and poems frequently appeared. His own life was often as turbulent and bizarre as his literary works; a chronic alcoholic, he was obsessed with themes of madness, death, and the supernatural. He died in Baltimore at the age of forty. He is best remembered for "The Raven," "The Gold Bug," "The Fall of the House of Usher," and "Murders in the Rue Morgue."