William Faulkner called him “the father of American literature”
Mark Twain (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910),real name Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. Among his novels are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885),the latter often called “The Great American Novel”.
Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, which later provided the setting for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. His humorous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, was published in 1865, based on a story that he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention and was even translated into French. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.
Twain was born shortly after an appearance of Halley’s Comet, and he predicted that he would “go out with it” as well; he died the day after the comet returned. He was lauded as the “greatest humorist this country has produced”.