Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. His parents were both actors who left him orphaned. Edgar went to live with the family of John Allan—a tobacco merchant from Virginia–but eventually broke with his step father, who gave him little or no money.
In his late 20s, Poe married his young cousin Virginia, who died two years into the marriage. Her death drove Poe to drink heavily. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse plagued his entire adult life.
Trying to earn his way, Poe worked as an editor and struggled as a writer. Yet he persevered and produced numerous poems, short stories, and literary criticisms. His works delved into the dark side of humanity through mainly horror and detective fiction and have often been called macabre. Some of his most popular works include the Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Raven, and The Tell-Tale Heart.
In an eerie coincidence to his work, Poe’s last days on earth and his death remain a mystery, though alcohol may have been a factor. Poe died in Baltimore, Maryland, on October 7, 1849. He was 40 years old.
Works by Edgar Allan Poe Available on the Podcast: