Joseph Addison (1672-1719) was an English poet, playwright, essayist and politician. He is often remembered in conjunction with his friend Richard Steele (1672-1729), the Irish writer and politician who founded the Tatler. In 1711, the two friends launched a short-lived daily publication called The Spectator.
Addison's best-known work is the play Cato: A Tragedy which was first performed in 1713. The play is based on the last days of the Roman statesman Cato the Younger, and is said to have inspired some of the leaders of the American Revolutionary War (the American War of Independence).