Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston. He was the son of itinerant actors who died before Poe was three years old. He then became the ward of a Virginia couple called the Allans, whose name he added to his own. He studied at the University of Virginia, but his love of drinking and gambling made his stay there short lived. He then enlisted in the Army and served soberly from 1827 to 1829. In 1830 Poe was accepted into West Point, but he ruined his chances there as well with more drinking. In 1836 he married his cousin, thirteen year old Virginia Clemm, and tried to support her by writing and editing. He was editor of the Richmond Southern Literary Messenger, as well as a few others, and published his own magazine for a while called The Stylus. He won many literary prized early in his career, but he made little money, and his alcoholism cost him many jobs in journalism. His wife died in 1847, and he then became engaged to a wealthy widow. In 1849, while traveling to meet the widow, he met some friends and went out drinking with them. He was later found unconscious in a Baltimore street and died a few days later.
Edgar Allan Poe was a household name to American readers. His use of terror and the supernatural in his fiction made him very popular with them. His writing, however, used little of the American experience, but relied heavily on the Gothic techniques and German romanticism. While his short fiction was loved in the United States, his poetry was more successful overseas, especially in France. His critical essays have had a profound effect on literature as well, especially in the short story.
He is still alive in his poetry and stories . People will keep reading them and so will the next generation.