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 Walt Whitman

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Walt Whitman

  • Birth 31 May 1819 West Hills, Suffolk County, New York, USA
  • Death 26 Mar 1892 Camden, Camden County, New Jersey, USA
  • Burial Camden, Camden County, New Jersey, USA
  • Memorial ID 1098

Poet. Considered one of America's foremost men of letters, Whitman was born on Long Island, NY. His mother was barely literate, and his father was a friend of Thomas Paine. Whitman was taken out of school at the age of 11 to help support the large family. He learned the printer's trade, which began a life-long love affair with reading and the written word. He was mostly self-taught, but knew the Bible thoroughly, and was fond of Shakespeare, Homer and Dante. He became a teacher in 1836 at the age of 17, and continued to teach until 1841, when he turned to journalism as a full-time career. While briefly serving as editor of the "New Orleans Crescent" in 1848, he witnessed the cruelty of slavery at the New Orleans slave markets. He became an abolitionist, and upon returning to New York founded the free-soil newspaper the "Brooklyn Freeman". He wrote "Leaves of Grass" in July of 1855 and so astonished Ralph Waldo Emerson that he wrote to Whitman to say "I had to rub my eyes to see if the sunbeam was no illusion." Two of Whitman's more famous poems are "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed" and "O Captain! My Captain!". During the Civil War he served as a volunteer nurse. Whitman continued to edit, revise, and reissue "Leaves of Grass" throughout his life.

Bio by: Kristen Conrad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1098
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Walt Whitman (31 May 1819–26 Mar 1892), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1098, citing Harleigh Cemetery, Camden, Camden County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .