Biography: 

Poet and literary journalist, Joyce Kilmer was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, attended Rutgers and obtained his A.B. degree from Columbia University in 1908, and married Aline Murray the same year. They had four children, and during this time Kilmer became a Roman Catholic.

Biography: 

Francis Scott Key was born in Frederick, Maryland, on August 1, 1779, and after an education at St. John's College, Annapolis, he worked as an attorney, first in his home town, and then in Georgetown, in Washington, D.C. In 1814 the British seized Dr. William Beanes in retreat from Washington, and Key was dispatched to arrange his release.

Biography: 

Helen Fiske, born in Amherst, Mass., took her two last names from her husbands. She married Edward Bissell Hunt first, was widowed young, in 1865, and shortly afterwards had lost both sons from that marriage as well. Ten years later, she married a quaker, William Sharpless Jackson and lived in Colorado Springs with him.

Biography: 

Julia Ward was born in New York and married Samuel Gridley Howe in 1843. They had six children and co-edited the abolitionist organ The Commonwealth.

Biography: 

George Moses Horton was born in slavery about 1797 on William Horton's tobacco plantation in Northampton Country, North Carolina. Growing up as a cow-hand in Chatham county, where his master moved, George educated himself to read scripture and to make poems. At 17 years old, he became the property of William's son James and was set to work at a horse-drawn plough.

Biography: 

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on August 29, 1809, Oliver Wendell Holmes proceeded to Phillips Academy and Harvard, from which he graduated in 1829. His first, most popular poem, written at 21, was "Old Ironsides." Like most of Holmes' poems, this was an occasional piece, prompted by some incident.

Biography: 

Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois, July 21, 1899, the son of a doctor. He became a reporter in Kansas City after leaving school and volunteered on ambulance duty in Italy in World War I, where he was wounded and won the Croce de Guerra. He became a reporter in Toronto for The Star after the war and in 1921 moved to Paris among literary Americans such as Ezra Pound.

Biography: 

Sarah Josepha Buell was born October 24, 1788, in Newport, New Hampshire. Self-educated, at 18 she became a schoolteacher in Newport and worked there until 1813, when she married David Hale, a lawyer. At his death nine years later, she was a 34-year-old pregnant mother of four who nonetheless rose to become one of America's most successful women writers.

Biography: 

Born in Birmingham, England, on August 20, 1881, Edgar A. Guest settled with his family in Detroit in 1891. Starting in 1895 as a copy boy at the Detroit Free Press, Guest worked his way up as police reporter, exchange editor, and verse columnist.

Biography: 

Stephen Foster was born July 4, 1826, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was educated at Allegheny Academy, Athens Academy, and Jefferson College. He became a full-time musician in 1850, working for and with Christy's Minstrels, Campbell Minstrels, and the New Orleans Serenaders. His songs made him famous with the public.

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