Friday, November 30, 2012
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, was born on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri. He grew up in Hannibal, where he became a printer's apprentice, then a typesetter for the Hannibal Journal (owned by his brother), to which he contributed articles and humorous sketches. As a steamboat pilot he picked up the term "Mark Twain," a shout that noted a two-fathom minimum navigation depth, and used it for 50 years. In 1864 in San Francisco he wrote a story about jumping frogs that made him famous. His world travels for newspapers resulted in his popular book The Innocents Abroad (1869). Settled in Hartford, Connecticut, he published Tom Sawyer (1875), Life on the Mississippi (1883) and his masterpiece, Huckleberry Finn (1885). With his wife’s death in 1903, darkness descended on him. He departed with the return of Halley’s Comet in 1910.