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Master of mystery and the macabre, he may be one of America’s most famous writers. Well respected in France, his works were translated there by Charles Baudelaire. Married to his 13 year-old cousin, she died only seven years later, and “the death of a beautiful woman” became one of this writer’s frequent themes. Known best for his scary short stories and poems, who is this writer born January 19th, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts?

We’ll find out in a moment on Biography Out Loud.

Edgar Allan Poe’s father abandoned his family, and Poe’s mother died a year later. Never formally adopted by the Allan’s, Poe and his foster father had a turbulent relationship. Poe signed with the U.S. Army as “Edgar A. Perry”, later deciding to try to end his enlistment early. Revealing his false identity, his commanding officer made Poe write to his foster father who later supported the discharge. Poe found someone to replace him in Army, and John Allan wrote in support of Poe enlisting in West Point. Edgar Allan Poe was also later discharged from there.

Though a struggling writer most of his life, “The Raven” made him famous overnight although he was only paid nine dollars for the poem. Known for “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “The Black Cat”, “Annabelle Lee” and “A Cask of Amontillado”, Poe was one of the first writer’s to attempt to make a living full-time from his work. Found disoriented and wandering the streets of Baltimore on October 3rd, 1849, Poe died four days later, only 40 years old.

One hundred years after his birth, cognac and three roses were left on his grave. The tradition carried on for more than 60 years. When the “Poe Toaster” didn’t appear in 2010, leading to speculation the person who has carried on this tradition may have died.

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Edgar Allan Poe

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