Samuel Clemens, more commonly known as Mark Twain, was born on November 30th, 1835. He lived with a large family of five older siblings. During his young life, he and his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, where he spent much of his childhood. At the age of twelve, Samuel’s father died, and he left school to start working and help his family. He held various jobs until he reached the age of 21. At this age, he started working on a steamboat.
During the Civil War, demand for the boats dropped and he had to find other means of work. Eventually, he got a job as a reporter at the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise where he quickly became known as Mark Twain. Before he led a life of fame, he had an eventful childhood where he held several interesting jobs, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”- Mark Twain
As a writer, his wealth quickly grew after writing a book on Ulysses S. Grant. He would add many of his opinions about matters of the day into his books, such as his opinion on slavery. He was a great influence on many people from all over the world. The fame and riches he received for his books wouldn’t last his entire life though, he would lose almost everything, including his wealth and family. He stopped writing for a time to explore other careers in which he could benefit. People loved the stories that Mark Twain told.
In February of 1870, Samuel Clemens married his wife Livy. Family meant a lot to him but he also had a love for money. Soon after their marriage, Livy became pregnant with their first son Langdon, however, before he was very old, he died. Throughout Twain’s life, most of his family members died of various disease and illnesses. In fact, when his wife became sick, the doctors only allowed him to see her for two minutes a day because his personality would upset her illness. After several people he knew died, he grew depressed and became mad at God. He cared deeply for his family and was very nostalgic.
After he stopped writing, he attempted to become a businessman to increase his fortune. However, he was not a good businessman. When he made several poor decisions, his money quickly started to vanish. He loved money but was not wise with it. He made multiple bad investments at the same time, and his investments never took off. He started a publishing company to help make money, but it didn’t work, he was still losing money.
That and the combination of him spending over $30,000 monthly, and he eventually went bankrupt. After bankruptcy, he decided he would still pay the people he owed money to. Like Twain said, “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection” He went around the world speaking at various events, earning money until, a few years later, he had paid back all of his debts, which had started at over $200,000. Although he managed his finances poorly, his strong moral compass helped him pay back what he owed, even when he was not required to.
Mark Twain has been known very well mainly for his books, but also, his numerous quotes. His first novel was titled, The Innocents Abroad. It quickly became a popular book. Other popular books by Mark Twain included Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi and Huck Finn.
Samuel Clemens accomplished much over the course of his life. He went from having a lot, to losing everything, to working hard to get his wealth back. Most of his family died while he was still living.
The only one of his children to live longer than he was his Daughter, Claria Clemans. Samuel Clemens was born when Halley’s Comet was at earth and he said he wished to leave with it, “I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It’s coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it.” -Mark Twain. He did. The day after Halley’s Comet had made its closest approach to earth, Mark Twain died of a heart attack. During his life, he was extremely successful, and never gave up in the face of difficulty, not even after his family died and his wealth was lost.