Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885.
Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to the newspaper of his older brother. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi before heading. In 1865, his humorous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, was published, based on a story he heard when he had spent some time as a miner. The story brought international attention, and was even translated into classic Greek. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers. He was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.
Twain was born shortly after a visit by Halley’s Comet, and he predicted that he would “go out with it”, too. He died the day after the comet returned. He was lauded as the “greatest American humorist of his age” and William Faulkner called Twain “the father of American literature”.
• Haley’s Comet was visible in the sky both on the night that Mark Twain was born and on the night he passed away.
• Mark Twain published more than 30 books throughout his career.
• Hannibal, Mo. served as the inspiration for the fictional town of St. Petersberg in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”
• As a teenager, Twain worked as an apprentice printer.
• As a riverboat pilot, Twain earned from $150 to $250 a month.
• During the Civil War, Twain formed a Confederate militia known as the “Marion Rangers.” The militia disbanded after approximately two weeks.
• Twain left Missouri after his militia disbanded and moved to Nevada. There he worked as a miner.
• “Roughing It” describes Twain’s journey out West with his brother Orion.
• From 1901 until his death in 1910, Twain was vice president of the American Anti-Imperialist League.
• “Huckleberry Finn” was ranked as the fifth most frequently challenged book in the United States by the American Library Association.
• Prior to adopting Mark Twain as his pen name, Clemens wrote under the pen name Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass for a number of humorous pieces that he contributed to the Keokuk Post.
Partial list of movies based on Mark Twain’s books and stories
• The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944 film)
• The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985 film)
• Back to Hannibal: The Return of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
• A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1921 film)
• A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949 film)
• A Connecticut Yankee (film)
• A Curious Dream
• A Kid in King Arthur’s Court
• A Knight in Camelot
• The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (film)
• Life on the Mississippi (film)
• The Million Pound Note
• A Million to Juan
• New Adventures of a Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
• The One Million Pound Note
• Pudd’nhead Wilson (film)
• Tom Sawyer, Detective (film)
• Unidentified Flying Oddball