Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kid from History: Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain

By Natalie Brady, Junior Assistant Editor

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was a major American writer from Missouri. You may know him as Mark Twain. Clemens’s best-known works are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, two classics in American literature. His stories are known for their memorable characters, vivid details, and humor.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (aka. Mark Twain)

Clemens was born in Florida, Missouri on November 30, 1835. He was the son of John Marshall and Jane Lampton Clemens and was the sixth of seven children. At the age of four, his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri for his father’s business. Samuel spent his childhood there swimming, fishing, playing pirates, pulling pranks, and making memories for future stories.

When Samuel was only twelve, his father died of pneumonia, causing his family to struggle financially. Samuel had to take a number of odd jobs in order to help his family while continuing his schooling. He took many jobs in the field of journalism; he was printer’s devil for the Missouri Courier, he became a typesetter and editorial assistant at the Western Union, and he finally left Hannibal to work in various cities for many typesetting jobs.

When moving to San Francisco, Clemens’ short story “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog” was published under the name of ‘Mark Twain’. He became a nationally known humorist. He lectured for the rest of his life, making up stories and speeches; Clemens was a creative genius.

In 1870, Clemens married Olivia Langdon and created a home in Hartford, Connecticut. They had three daughters: Susy, Clara, and Jean, and a son who died as an infant, named Langdon. From his house in Hartford, he began to write novels and dropped out of the world of journalism. The books and novels he wrote made him famous. Roughing It, about his years in the West, came out in 1872. In 1876, he published The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and in 1884 he published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

The writings of Mark Twain are still read all around the world today and are considered “classics”.