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Acclaimed American writer, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), was in foster care as a child.

Edgar Poe was born in Boston to actors Elizabeth and David Poe, one of three children. David abandoned the family a year later and Elizabeth died from tuberculosis a year after that. 

Three-year-old Edgar was fostered by John and Frances Allan of Richmond, Virginia and they added Allan to his name. Between 1815 and 1820 Poe spent time in Scotland and England where he received a classical education. Six years after returning to the U.S. he briefly attended the University of Virginia.

John Allan was a successful tobacco merchant and wanted Edgar to follow in his footsteps. Edgar, however, wanted to be a writer.

Poe published his first poems in a pamphlet in 1827 and continued to write poetry until he began to publish stories, winning fifty pounds in 1833 for his story MS. Found in a Bottle.  

Edgar Allan Poe worked as a writer, editor, and critic throughout his career. He is considered to have originated both horror and detective fiction as well as the modern short story.  


Cestre, Charles. “Edgar Allan Poe.” Britannica. 

“Edgar Allan Poe.” 

 Image available here.