Edgar Allen Poe, one of America's most famous men of letters, was born on January 19th, 1809 to a pair of travelling actors. His father abandoned the family while Poe was an infant, and his mother died before his third birthday, a combination of events which may have helped set the stage for his dark and haunting literary works. Poe's young wife Virginia, whom he had married when she was thirteen, died of tuberculosis at 24, adding more grief to his life. He himself died somewhat mysteriously at the age of 40 after being found dirty and incoherent in a Baltimore tavern after a few days during which his whereabouts were unknown. His short story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is considered to be the first modern detective story, several of his works have inspired movies and his most celebrated poem "The Raven" provided the name for Baltimore's National Football League team. To learn more about this enigmatic figure, check out Nevermore: A Photobiography of Edgar Allan Poe or The Everything Guide to Edgar Allan Poe, just two of the many books about or by Poe available at the Milwaukee Public Library.