Edgar Allan Poe (19 January 1809 - 7 October, 1849) was an American author, poet, editor and critic. Best know for his Gothic and horror stories and poems, Poe championed the short story as a literary form, contributed to the growing science fiction genre emerging in his day, and is the inventor of the modern "detective story" as we now know it.
Poe lived a brief life of continued financial hardship sparked by flares of creative and critical success. Born in Boston to David and Elizabeth Poe, working actors, his father's disappearance and mother's premature death forced him into a pseudo-adoption by John Allan of Virginia, where he grew to consider himself a "Southern Gentleman" for the remainder of his life.
As a student at West Point, poetry captured his fervent imagination, and he became a writer, winning his first monetary prize for his writing in Baltimore, Maryland. Shuttling between Richmond, Philadelphia and New York through-out his turbulent life, jumping between newspaper and magazine editorial jobs while gaining notoriety for his Gothic short stories, Baltimore became more of a home for him than other cities. His paternal grandfather and brother lived in Baltimore, and it was in Baltimore that he lived for many years with his Aunt, Maria Clemm, whom he considered more than anything else to be his "mother", and his child-bride, Virginia. It is in Baltimore that he died under mysterious circumstances in the autumn of 1849, and it is in Baltimore where he his buried, along-side Clemm and Virginia Poe.
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