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:

    Some authorities hold that the young ought not to lie at all. That, of course, is putting it rather stronger than necessary; still, while I cannot go quite so far as that, I do maintain, and I believe I am right, that the young ought to be temperate in the use of this great art until practice and experience shall give them that confidence, elegance and precision which alone can make the accomplishment graceful and profitable.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    The boys dressed themselves, hid their accoutrements, and went off grieving that there were no outlaws any more, and wondering what modern civilization could claim to have done to compensate for their loss. They said they would rather be outlaws a year in Sherwood Forest than President of the United States forever.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    There are several good protections against temptations but the surest is cowardice.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    A man may have no bad habits and have worse.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    There was never a century nor a country that was short of experts who knew the Deity’s mind and were willing to reveal it.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)