Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman - Poets, Facts and Family

Violet FieldHome › AmericanWalt WhitmanMay 31, 1819254 views

0 based on 0 rates
Walt Whitman Biography Stories 

Walt Whitman's Personal Details

Walt Whitman was an American poet, journalist and humanist

InformationDetail
BirthdayMay 31, 1819
Died onMarch 26, 1892
NationalityAmerican
FamousBisexual, Writers, Poets, Humanist, Poets
City/StateNew Yorkers
SiblingsAndrew Jackson, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson
Birth PlaceU.S.
GenderMale
FatherWalter Whitman
MotherLouisa Van Velsor Whitman
Sun SignGemini
Born inU.S.
Famous asPoet & humanist
Died at Age72

// Famous Humanist

Francesco Petrarch

Francesco Petrarch

Fêted as the “Father of Humanism”, Francesco Petrarch is one of the most influential literary figures the world has ever had. Explore this biography to know about his childhood, life and timeline.

Walt Whitman's photo

Who is Walt Whitman?

Walter Whitman was an American poet, journalist and humanist. The poet is mainly known for his approach to Transcendentalism and realism and mastery in free verses, which would mirror in his works. Among his most famous works, is his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was also his first significant work as a poet. The collection was first published in 1855 and since then, he kept it revising and expanding until his death. The poetry was initially labeled and banned for its obscenity though it later gained popularity and has been translated into a number of foreign languages. Whitman was also a teacher and a government clerk before taking on writing and worked as a nurse during the American Civil War. Though he opposed the slavery system in America and wrote poetries moved by their sufferings, he did not participate in the abolitionary movement at any point in his life. The poet died in 1892, at age seventy two.

// Famous Poets

Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu was an Indian freedom fighter and poet. Read this brief biography to find more on her life.

Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda was a Chilean poet, politician and Nobel laureate. Go through this biography to learn more about his profile, childhood, life and timeline.

Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen was a famous Norwegian playwright often considered as the father of modern theater. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, family, life history and achievements.

Biography detail

Childhood & Early Life

Walt Whitman was born on 31 May 1819 in Long Island. New York and was the second of nine children born to his parents Walter and Louisa Van Velsor Whitman. His childhood was not a happy one and was raised amidst a hard pressed finance of his family. They kept on moving from one place to another, which was also due to the bad economic conditions and he took up his first employment of many, as early as at the age of eleven. He was hired as an office boy to lawyers and later as an apprentice. He was then employed by the newspaper The Patriot, where he learned about the printing press and typesetting. His family moved to West Hills leaving him behind, and he continued to work for another printer Alden Spooner, editor of the weekly newspaper the Long-Island Star. By this time, He had begun reading avidly, became a patron of a library and joined various debating societies. He also began writing poetries during this period, which were anonymously published in the New York Mirror.

Early Career

In 1836, Whitman joined the family in Hempstead where he taught at various schools for the next two years. Though he was never happy with the job and finally left it, moving back to New York seeking to set up his newspaper, the Long Islander. After working there for few months, he sold the publication to another publisher and joined the Long Island Democrat, as a typesetter. He once again turned back to teaching and published a series of ten editorials Sun Down Papers-From the Desk of a Schoolmaster. In 1842, he became editor of the Brooklyn Eagle.

Leaves of Grass

Whitman claimed poems to be his first love and regardless of the job he was in, continued to write poetries in his early years which gave him initial success. During 1850's, he embarked upon writing Leaves of Grass, his first work that would bring him his greatest success. The collection was published with his own money in 1855. It was published anonymously and raised much interest with in a short span of time. Critics called the poetry as obscene, profane and harshly criticized it for its sexual theme; however, some praised it for its ingenious use of free verses. Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of them. With Emerson coming for his support, the selling of the book was raised considerably and the second edition of it was published in 1856. Since then, Whitman continued to revise and expand the collection until his death. On 11 July 1855, Whitman's father Walt died at age sixty five. The verses brought him both fame and controversies, though financial success still eluded him and he had to get back to his journalism work. In 1857, he joined the Brooklyn's Daily Times, where he contributed as its editor and writer until 1859.

American Civil War & Whitman

With the onset of the American Civil War, Whitman's wrote his poem Beat! Beat! Drums, that appeared as a call for the country. Whitman's brother George's involvement in the war as a soldier worried him as the news of mass killings kept coming in and he rushed to south to find him. In his way to south, Whitman witnessed and had a close experience of the pain and sufferings of the soldiers. Though luckily he found his brother well and alive, the violence and killing of the war had moved him so much that he decided to leave New York for good and left for Washington in 1862. In Washington, Whitman took up a part time job in the army paymaster's office and became a nurse to those injured in the war. He would recall the experience in The Great Army of the Sick, published in 1863.

In 1864, Whitman's brother George was taken into custody by the Confederates in Virginia and another brother Andrew Jackson succumbed to death from Tuberculosis. After a difficult end of the 1864, Whitman succeeded in receiving a government job in the Bureau of the Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior in 1865, though he was fired as soon as his identity as the author of the blasphemous book Leaves of Grass was found by the secretary. In 1865, George was released and granted a pardon because of his failing health. O'Connor, a friend of him, went enraged at the news of his firing from the job and published a biographical study of Whitman called The Good Gray Poet in 1866. Whitman's reputation was further restored with the release of his poem O Captain! My Captain!, a poem to Abraham Lincoln. In 1868, Poems of Walt Whitman was published in England.

Writing Style & Theme

Whitman as a poet used symbolic style in his poetry and his works seemingly were fascinated with the subject of death and sexuality. Abandoning the conventional prose-like poetic form, he exuded his mastery in the free verses for which he is called as the father of free verses. His works are considered as a mirror to his country America, as he accentuated the connection between a poet and its country. His works are also influenced and draw heavily upon his believe in deism.

Later Years & Death As early as in 1873, Whitman suffered from a paralytic stroke. His mother, whom he had been unusually close, passed away in the same year. Depressed and broken, Whitman moved to New Jersey to be with his brother George and lived there until he found a home in 1884. Meanwhile, Whitman released more editions of Leaves of Grass, publishing in 1876, 1881 and 1889. He produced a further edition of the book, which was to be its last, in 1891. During this period, he became obsessed with the frequent thoughts of death, and often wrote of his pain and suffering his notebook. He also bought a mausoleum shaped house in his last days. Walt Whitman died on 26 March 1892 of bronchial pneumonia. A grand funeral was held and his body was buried in his tomb at Harleigh Cemetry, where remain of his parents and brothers were moved with him.

// Famous Bisexual

Anna Paquin

Anna Paquin

Anna Paquin is a Kiwi film, theatre and television actress known for her roles in movies like ‘The Piano’, ‘Fly Away Home’, and ‘X-Men. This biography provides detailed information about her childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Bella Thorne

Bella Thorne

Bella Thorne is an American actress and singer. Let’s have a look at her personal and family life including age, net worth, relationships and fun facts.

Megan Fox

Megan Fox

Megan Fox is a popular American actress and model. This biography provides detailed information about her childhood, life, career, works, achievements, timeline, and trivia.

// Famous Poets

Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski was a German-born American novelist, short story writer and poet. With this biography, learn in details about his childhood, life, works, career and timeline

Abdolkarim Soroush

Abdolkarim Soroush

Abdolkarim Soroush is a reformer, thinker, and Rumi scholar belonging to Iran. Soroush is also a prominent figure in Iran’s religious movement. This biography provides detailed information about her childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu was an Indian freedom fighter and poet. Read this brief biography to find more on her life.

Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley was an occultist and ceremonial magician who founded the ethical philosophy of Thelema. This biography of Aleister Crowley provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Ahlam Mosteghanemi

Ahlam Mosteghanemi

Ahlam Mosteghanemi is a contemporary Algerian poet and novelist. This biography gives detailed information about her childhood, life, works and timeline

Amir Khusrow

Amir Khusrow

Amir Khusro was a Sufi musician, poet and scholar regarded as the "father of Qawwali". This biography of Amir Khusro provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Walt Whitman's FAQ

  • What is Walt Whitman birthday?

    Walt Whitman was born at 1819-05-31

  • When was Walt Whitman died?

    Walt Whitman was died at 1892-03-26

  • Where was Walt Whitman died?

    Walt Whitman was died in Camden, New Jersey, U.S.

  • Which age was Walt Whitman died?

    Walt Whitman was died at age 72

  • Where is Walt Whitman's birth place?

    Walt Whitman was born in U.S.

  • What is Walt Whitman nationalities?

    Walt Whitman's nationalities is American

  • Who is Walt Whitman siblings?

    Walt Whitman's siblings is Andrew Jackson, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson

  • Who is Walt Whitman's father?

    Walt Whitman's father is Walter Whitman

  • Who is Walt Whitman's mother?

    Walt Whitman's mother is Louisa Van Velsor Whitman

  • What is Walt Whitman's sun sign?

    Walt Whitman is Gemini

  • How famous is Walt Whitman?

    Walt Whitman is famouse as Poet & humanist