Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri. He became a pilot for boats traveling the Mississippi River; his nom de plume “Mark Twain” may have come from the term men on the river used to indicate a depth of two fathoms.
Clemens became the author of many popular novels about life in America. His first published words were two anecdotes, accepted without payment by the Saturday Evening Post of Philadelphia. Twain married Olivia Langdon on February 2, 1870, and the newlyweds settled in Hartford, Connecticut. Among his many books are the following favorites: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), The Prince and the Pauper (1882), Huckleberry Finn (1885), and A Connecticut Yankee at the Court of King Arthur (1889).
Clemens went on a worldwide lecture tour in 1895 and 1896; the proceeds from his trip were used to pay the debts of his publisher, Charles L. Webster & Co. He later moved to Redding, Connecticut; there he built a beautiful home in the style of a riverboat. The man known to the world as Mark Twain passed away on April 21, 1910.