47. Mark Twain: A Great American Author

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Samuel Langhorne Clemens, best known as Mark Twain, is an American author and humorist. He wrote two of the most significant novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the settings for his novels.

Clemens held a variety of odd jobs as a young man. He was a journalist, miner, printer's apprentice, and typesetter, but journalism was what he liked doing best. His writing style earned him praise from critics worldwide. William Faulkner, another great American author, called him "The Father of American Literature."

Twain was already a very successful writer when he wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The main character Tom Sawyer was based on his own experiences as a child. His best friends were also based on real-life friends Twain grew up with. Huckleberry Finn, the main character of his finest work, was also based on a childhood friend.

Twain was a prolific writer who penned several books, and other publications. Most of his writing was taken from his life in the western part of the United States while traveling with his brother Orion. He was born Christian, but later in life questioned his faith, and developed negative feelings toward organized religion. He was once quoted as saying, "If Christ were here, now there is one thing he would not be - Christian." Twain died in 1910 from a heart attack at the age of 74.

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