Great Writers!

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2.
Alexandre Dumas père
His paternal grandparents were Marie Cessete Dumas (a Haitian slave) and Marquis Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie. Antoine disapproved of their son, Thomas-Alexandre, joining the French army under the "Davy de la Pailleterie" name, so Thomas-Alexandre used his mother's surname instead. He became a valued general of Napoleon...
 
3.
Boris Pasternak
Boris Pasternak was born in Moscow on February 10, 1890 into an artistic family of Russian-Jewish heritage. His father was an acclaimed artist named Leonid Pasternak, who converted to Christianity, and his mother was a renown concert pianist named Rosa Kaufman. Their home was open to family friends such as composers Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Scriabin as well as writers Rilke and Leo Tolstoy...
 
4.
Leo Tolstoy
Count Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828, in his ancestral estate Yasnaya Polyana, South of Moscow, Russia. He was the fourth of five children in a wealthy family of Russian landed Gentry. His parents died when he was a child, and he was brought up by his elder brothers and relatives...
 
6.
James Fenimore Cooper
Favorite writer of generations of Americans, Cooper was born on Tuesday, September 15th, 1789, and grew up on his family's huge wooded settlement, in Cooperstown, New York, which his father, William Cooper, a prominent Federalist, had founded before this son's birth. His days as a Yale student were cut short when he was expelled for misbehavior...
 
8.
Victor Hugo
Victor-Marie Hugo was born on February 26, 1802, in Besançon, France. His father, Joseph-Leopold Hugo, was a general in Napoleon's army who served as Military Governor in Italy and Spain. His mother, Sophie Trebuchet, had an affair with his father's commander, who was shot in 1812 for plotting against Napoleon...
 
9.
H.G. Wells
H.G. Wells, born in the London suburb of Bromley in 1866, began his literary career in earnest in 1895 with the publication of his first novel, "The Time Machine." Until this first success his life had been a patchwork of unsatisfactory drapery and chemist apprenticeships that were interrupted by stints as a teacher's assistant...
 
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Karl May
Writer, Winnetou
 
12.
Walter Scott
Writer, Ivanhoe
Sir Walter Scott was born August 15, 1771, in Edinburgh, Scotland, as the ninth child (and the fourth surviving) of Walter Scott, a solicitor, and his wife Anne Rutherford. Polio, contracted when he was two, resulted in a crippled left leg, but even this illness did not prevent Scott from growing into a tall and energetic man...
 
13.
Daniel Defoe
Born the eldest son and third child of James and Mary Defoe, Defoe received a very good education, as his father intended him to become a Presbyterian minister, but he chose to become a merchant instead. In 1684 he joined the army of the rebel Duke of Monmouth, but when the rebellion failed, Defoe was forced into semi-exile...
 
14.
Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens' father was a clerk at the Naval Pay Office, and because of this the family had to move from place to place: Plymouth, London, Chatham. It was a large family and despite hard work, his father couldn't earn enough money. In 1823 he was arrested for debt and Charles had to start working in a factory...
 
15.
Bram Stoker
Writer, Dracula
Bram Stoker was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1847, and gained fame for his novel "Dracula" about an aristocratic vampire in Transylvania. The sequel, "Dracula's Guest," was not published for 17 years after the publication of "Dracula," two years after Stoker's death. Stoker also wrote "The Mystery of...
 
16.
Stephen King
Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947, at the Maine General Hospital in Portland. His parents were Nellie Ruth (Pillsbury), who worked as a caregiver at a mental institute, and Donald Edwin King, a merchant seaman. His father was born under the surname "Pollock", but used the last name "King"...
 
17.
Robert E. Howard
Robert E. Howard created Conan the Barbarian in a series of short stories and novels in the 1930's. Born in Peaster, Texas, he was raised in Cross Plains. His fiction was carried in pulp magazines of the time such as Weird Tales, and H.P. Lovecraft was a friend and admirer of his. He committed suicide after holding vigil by his mother's deathbed in 1936.
 
18.
Jack London
Writer, White Fang
Jack London was the best-selling, highest paid and most popular American author of his time. He was born John Griffith Chaney, on January 12, 1876, in San Francisco. He was raised by his mother Flora Wellman and his stepfather John London (he didn't know who his father was until his adulthood). After graduation from a grammar school he worked 12 to 18 hours a day at a cannery...
 
20.
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Writer, Tarzan
His father had been a major in the Union army during the Civil War. Edgar Rice Burroughs attended the Brown School then, due to a diphtheria epidemic, Miss Coolie's Maplehurst School for Girls, then the Harvard School, Phillips Andover and the Michigan Military Academy. He was a mediocre student and flunked his examination for West Point...
 
21.
Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, Illinois, but grew up in Roslyn, New York. His father was a journalist and encouraged him to write and to type. Michael gave up studying English at Harvard University, having become disillusioned with the teaching standards--the final straw came when he submitted...
 
22.
J.R.R. Tolkien
English writer, scholar and philologist, Tolkien's father was a bank manager in South Africa. When his father died in 1896 his mother took him and his younger brother to his father's native village of Sarehole, near Birmingham, England. The landscapes and Nordic mythology of the Midlands may have been...
 
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24.
C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis was born in 1898 and brought up in a very strict, religious household. While he was quite young, his mother died of cancer but the "stiff upper lip" in favour at the time meant he wasn't allowed to grieve. He became an Oxford don and led a sheltered life. He seriously questioned his religious beliefs and finally left the church...
 
25.
Philip K. Dick
Writer, Blade Runner
Philip Kindred Dick was born in Chicago in December 1928, along with a twin sister, Jane. Jane died less than eight weeks later, allegedly from an allergy to mother's milk. Dick's parents split up during his childhood, and he moved with his mother to Berkeley, California, where he lived for most of the rest of his life...
 
26.
Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo was born October 15, 1920, in "Hell's Kitchen" on Manhattan's (NY) West Side and, following military service in World War II, attended New York's New School for Social Research and Columbia University. His best-known novel, "The Godfather," was preceded by two critically acclaimed novels...
 
27.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Writer, Faust
Johann Wolfgang Goethe was born on 28 August 1749 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany as son of a lawyer. After growing up in a privileged upper middle class family, he studied law in Leipzig from 1765 to 1768, although he was more interested in literature. As he was seriously ill, he had to interrupt his studies...
“ Greatest writer from Germany! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
28.
Friedrich Schiller
Writer, Don Carlos
Friedrich Schiller was born on Nov. 10, 1759, in Marbach, Germany. His father was an army doctor. Growing up in a very poor environment, Schiller eventually managed to get the support of a wealthy duke that enabled him to study medicine. He served as a military doctor first, but through the efforts of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe he finally went to Jena and Weimar, where he died on the May 9, 1805...
 
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31.
Hans Christian Andersen
Writer, Frozen
H.C. Andersen was born in 1805. His father (Hans Andersen) was a poor shoemaker and his mother a washerwoman. The family did not have a permanent address until 1807. The family lived for the first time together at Munkemøllestræde. The father worked as an independent shoemaker, with a workshop in the livingroom...
 
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“ Creator of Batman! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
34.
Jerry Siegel
Writer, Smallville
Jerry Siegel was born in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1931, he met and befriended his future partner, Joe Shuster, when the latter moved from his birthplace in Canada. Siegel and Shuster were both avid science fiction fans, publishing a fanzine in the mid-1920s. It was during this period that they read Philip Wylie's book...
“ Co-Creator of Superman! Not so great, but famous! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
35.
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare's birthdate is assumed from his baptism on April 25. His father John was the son of a farmer who became a successful tradesman; his mother Mary Arden was gentry. He studied Latin works at Stratford Grammar School, leaving at about age 15. About this time his father suffered an unknown financial setback...
“ Greatest writer from Britain! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
36.
Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, Maharashtra, India, the son of John Lockwood Kipling, a museum director and author and illustrator. This was at the height of the "British Raj", so he was brought up by Indian nurses ("ayahs"), who taught him something of the beliefs and tongues of India. He was sent "home" to England at the age of six to live with a foster mother...
 
38.
John Irving
Born in New Hampshire, Irving is married and has three sons. He lives in Vermont and Toronto.
 
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40.
Franz Kafka
Writer, The Trial
Franz Kafka was born into a German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, Austrian Empire, in 1883. His father, Hermann Kafka, was a business owner and a domestic tyrant, frequently abusing his son. Kafka later admitted to his father, "My writing was all about you...". He believed that his father broke his will and caused insecurity and guilt...
 
42.
Michael Ende
Born 1929 in Germany as son of a surrealist painter who was banned by the Nazis in 1936. Went to Waldorf-school and deserted when he was called to the army at age of 16 in 1945. After the war he became an actor, critic and finally writer. His first big success was the children's book "Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivfuehrer" (Jim Knopf and Lukas the Engine-driver)...
 
46.
Ian Fleming
Born into a wealthy and influential English family, Ian Fleming spent his early years attending top British schools such as Eton and Sandhurst military academy. He took to writing while schooling in Kitzbuhel, Austria, and upon failing the entrance requirements for Foreign Service joined the news agency Reuters as a journalist...
 
47.
Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke was born in the seaside town of Minehead, Somerset, England in December 16, 1917. In 1936 he moved to London, where he joined the British Interplanetary Society. There he started to experiment with astronautic material in the BIS, write the BIS Bulletin and science fiction. During World War II...
 
48.
John Grisham
A graduate of Mississippi State University and Ole Miss Law School, John Grisham obtained his law degree in 1981 and practiced law for about 10 years, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. He was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1983 and served until 1990...
 
50.
Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov was born Isaak Judah Ozimov, on January 2, 1920, in Petrovichi shtetl, near Smolensk, Russia. He was the oldest of three children. His father, named Judah Ozimov, and his mother, named Anna Rachel Ozimov (nee Berman), were Orthodox Jews. Ozimov family were millers (the name Ozimov comes from the eponymous sort of wheat in Russian)...
 
51.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born into a family of old provincial nobility. Failing his final exams at a preparatory school, he entered the École des Beaux-Arts to study architecture. In 1921, he began military service in the 2nd Regiment of Chasseurs, and sent to Strasbourg for pilot training. The next year...
 
52.
Oscar Wilde
Writer, Dorian Gray
A gifted poet, playwright and wit, Oscar Wilde was a phenomenon in 19th-century England. He was illustrious for preaching the importance of style in life and art, and of attacking Victorian narrow-mindedness. Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1854. He studied at Trinity College in Dublin before leaving the country to study at Oxford University in England when he was in his early 20s...
 
53.
Frances Hodgson Burnett
Born in Manchester, England on November 24 1849, Frances Eliza Hodgson was the eldest daughter in a family of two boys and three girls. After her father's death when she was three years old, the Hodgsdons experienced severe financial difficulties. As a young girl, she would scrawl little stories on sheets of old notebooks...
 
54.
Astrid Lindgren
Grew up in Småland outside Vimmerby in the south of Sweden. Her first book came out in 1944, and she made a breakthrough the following year with the stories about Pippi Longstocking. Countless stories about Pippi and other characters of Astrid's imagination and excellent story telling ability were translated to at least 55 languages and told to millions of children all over the world...
 
55.
Agatha Christie
Agatha was born as "Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller" in 1890 to Frederick Alvah Miller and Clara Boehmer. Agatha was of American and British descent, her father being American and her mother British. Her father was a relatively affluent stockbroker. Agatha received home education from early childhood to when she turned 12-years-old in 1902...
 
58.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe was born into a prominent, religious, Calvinist family in Litchfield, Connecticut on 14 June 1811. She married a seminary professor, Calvin Ellis Stowe, and had seven children, several of whom died during childhood. 'Uncle Tom's Cabin', her first novel, was published in 1852 and provoked...
 
59.
Anne Rice
Anne Rice began life as "Howard Allen O'Brien", second of four daughters born to Howard and Katherine Allen O'Brien. She decided to call herself "Anne", when she enrolled in first grade at the Redemptorist Catholic School. Her mother (who had long suffered from alcoholism) died when Anne was nearly fifteen...
 
60.
Anton Chekhov
Writer, Kis Uykusu
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born in 1860, the third of six children to a family of a grocer, in Taganrog, Russia, a southern seaport and resort on the Azov Sea. His father, a 3rd-rank Member of the Merchant's Guild, was a religious fanatic and a tyrant who used his children as slaves. Young Chekhov was a part-time assistant in his father's business and also a singer in a church choir...
 
61.
Robert A. Heinlein
At the age of 17, Heinlein graduated from Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri. He spent one year at the University of Missouri before he entered the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, from which he graduated as the 20th best among the 243 cadets. He spent five years in the Pacific Ocean until he had to retire because of tuberculosis in 1934...
 
62.
Stanislaw Lem
Writer, Solaris
Stanislaw Lem was a visionary Polish author known for Solaris. He was born on September 12, 1921, in Lwów, Poland. His father, Samuel Lem, was a wealthy laryngologist who served in the Austrian army. His mother, Sabina Woller, was a homemaker. Although he was born into a Polish-Jewish family...
 
63.
Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury was an American science fiction writer whose works were translated in more than 40 languages and sold millions of copies around the world. Although he created a world of new technical and intellectual ideas, he never obtained a driver's license and had never driven a car. He was born Ray Douglas Bradbury on August 22...
 
64.
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, named David Poe Jr., and his mother, named Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe, were touring actors. Both parents died in 1811, and Poe became an orphan before he was 3 years old. He was adopted by John Allan, a tobacco merchant in Richmond...
 
65.
Selma Lagerlöf
Writer, Körkarlen
Lagerlöf made her debut in 1891 with The Gösta Berling saga, a story about her own region, Värmland and her home, the country manor Mårbacka. With her novel she starts the wave of romantic nationalist literature in Sweden of the 1890s. Her novel Jerusalem (1901-02) is about religious emigrants from Sweden to Palestine...
 
66.
Jane Austen
Jane Austen was born on December 16th, 1775, to the local rector, Rev. George Austen (1731-1805), and Cassandra Leigh (1739-1827). She was the seventh of eight children. She had one older sister, Cassandra. In 1783 she went to Southampton to be taught by a relative, Mrs. Cawley, but was brought home due to a local outbreak of disease...
 
67.
Dr. Seuss
Author, composer ("Get-Together Weather"), and artist who was educated at Dartmouth College (BA) at Lincoln College in Oxford, England, UK. He was a major in the US Army during World War II, and wrote and produced informational films. He also served in the ETO as Liaison Officer. He was awarded the Legion of Merit...
 
68.
Ludwig Ganghofer
Ludwig Ganghofer was a German Heimat-writer. More than 34 of his novels were made into films. He was born in Kauftbeuren, Bavaria, Germany, as the son of the Bavarian Ministerialrat August Ganghofer and Caroline (born as Louis). After graduating from high school he worked as a mechanic in Augsburg. Then he studied literature and philosophy in Munich and Berlin...
 
70.
Wilhelm Busch
Wilhelm Busch was a German painter, poet and satirist, best known for his drawings that were accompanied by wise, satiric, doggerel verse. His Bilderbogen (pictorial broadsheets) are considered to be precursors of the comic strip. In 1859, after study at academies in Duesseldorf, Antwerp, and Munich...
 
71.
H.P. Lovecraft
Writer, Re-Animator
Born in Providence, Lovecraft was a sickly child whose parents died insane. When he was 16, he wrote the astronomy column in the Providence Tribune. Between 1908 and 1923, he wrote short stories for Weird Tales magazine, among others. He died in Providence, in poverty, on March 15, 1937. His most famous novel is considered to be "At the Mountains of Madness," about an expedition to the South Pole...
 
73.
John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck was the third of four children and the only son born to John Ernst and Olive Hamilton Steinbeck. His father was County Treasurer and his mother, a former schoolteacher. John graduated from Salinas High School in 1919 and attended classes at Stanford University, leaving in 1925 without a degree...
 
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76.
Alex Raymond
Writer, Flash Gordon
Alexander Gillespie Raymond was born on October 2, 1909 in New Rochelle, New York, to Beatrice Wallazz (Crossley) and Alexander Gillespie Raymond, a civil engineer and road builder, who encouraged his drawing from an early age. His sister, Beatrice, was the paternal grandmother of actors Matt Dillon and Kevin Dillon. He was of Irish, Scottish, and German descent...
 
78.
J.M. Barrie
Writer, Hook
 
79.
Stan Lee
Writer, Iron Man
 
81.
Cornelia Funke
Writer, Inkheart
Cornelia Funke was born at Dorsten, Westphalia. She started as a book illustrator but then decided to write her own stories. She has written over forty scripts and books. Her most famous books include "Thief Lord", "Inkheart" and "Dragon Rider", all of these are New York Times bestselling books. Her most recent book is called "Inkspell"...
 
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Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway was an American writer who won the Pulitzer Prize (1953) and the Nobel Prize in Literature (1954) for his novel The Old Man and the Sea, which was made into a 1958 film The Old Man and the Sea. He was born into the hands of his physician father. He was the second of six children of Dr. Clarence Hemingway and Grace Hemingway (the daughter of English immigrants)...
 
85.
Homer
Writer, Troy
Homer is the name traditionally ascribed to the brilliant Greek bard that authored, most notably, the Iliad and the Odyssey (Western civilization's first complete stories). Nothing concrete is known of his life, but he is traditionally thought to be blind and was probably born in either Chios or Smyrna...
 
86.
Heinrich von Kleist
Heinrich von Kleist was born on the 18th of October, 1777 in Frankfurt/Oder (Germany) as the son of a priest. His father died when Heinrich was 11 so he had to earn some money early. He managed to go to the High School until 15, but was forced then to join the Prussian army in their war in the west...