Samuel L. Clemens
Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born on this date in 1835 in Florida, Missouri. His family moved to Hannibal, Missouri when he was four and it was growing up in this small town on the banks of the Mississippi that formed the basis for his famous novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Clemens later achieved his childhood dream of becoming a pilot on a Mississippi river steamboat.
When the Civil War shut down river traffic Clemens went west and began his career as a newspaper reporter and writer in earnest. He adopted the pen name Mark Twain, a term used on the Mississippi for water depth (two fathoms). During his lifetime Samuel Clemens achieved world wide fame for his novels and writings. He died on April 21, 1910 in Redding, Connecticut.