One of America’s most well-known story tellers lived a short yet intriguing life. From losing his parents to disagreements with secondary caregivers to brushes with substance abuse Poe managed to create literature that is still being read more than one hundred years later.

He was born in Boston and became an orphan when his father left the family and his mother passed away while he was still a small child.   The Allan family informally adopted him and cared for him as he grew up however the union was not always happy.  Poe enjoyed drinking, gambling and breaking the rules which led to many altercations within the family.  Once the struggle became too much Poe entered the military and was eventually let go from there as well due to rule violations.

Po was determined to make writing his sole career and suffered financially.  He was never able to complete college but his first published writing was a collection of poems credited only to “a Bostonian” in 1827 while he was in the military.  His poetry did not receive much attention but his criticism of other works stood out and people respected the honesty in which he reviewed such works. His writings were nothing if not dark and some would say even disturbing.  One could attribute this to the drinking and possible drug use but no one can claim his works were not unique and extremely well done.  His most famous writing “The Raven” came after he and his wife moved to New York City for a new career.  It was his darkest piece of work but one that lives on long after his death. Many works of art be it movies, books or performances, have referenced this poem to this day.

After his wife’s death Poe continued drinking, gambling and other dangerous behaviors which are believed to have led to his eventual death.  Only two years after his wife’s death Poe passed away, at the young age of 40, following an apparent bender where he reportedly disappeared after drinking and was not found until days later.  Even though he was found nothing could be done to rescue him from his death a few short days later.

No one can say what would have become of Edgar Allan Poe had he lived longer but it is certain that there would have been more works of art that would have stood out against others of his time.


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