Mark Twain
Public DomainMark Twain

Mark Twain was born as Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri.  He was the sixth child of John Marshall and Jane Lampton Clemens.  In 1839 Twain’s family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, a small farming town in north eastern Missouri.  Twain grew up in the town of Hannibal and soon became an apprentice of a printer.  After his father’s death in 1847, he later joined his brother, Orion, at the Hannibal Journal and wrote cartoons for the paper. Twain and Orion traveled the country by steam coach in 1861 to the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. In 1864 Twain moved out to San Francisco and continued his journalism there.  In 1868 he met his future wife, Olivia, and the two were happily married in 1870 in New York. Twain moved his family to Buffalo New York in 1871. There he and Olivia had three daughters, Susy (1872–1896), Clara (1874–1962) and Jean (1880–1909).  Twain and Olivia were married for 34 years until Olivia’s death in 1904. While married, Mark Twain wrote many books about life in America.  In 1876 he wrote his most famous book , The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  In 1884 he published the sequel to the book, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  During his later years in life, Mark Twain battled deep depression after his wife’s death and the death of one of his daughters.  Twain had predicted before his death that :

“I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.”

Unfortunately, his prediction came true on April 21, 1910 Mark Twain suffered a fatal heart attack in Redding, Connecticut. Coincidentally, this was the day after Halley’s Comet passed the earth taking Twain’s sprit with him.