How Did Edgar Allan Poe Die and Other Interesting Facts

How did Edgar Allan Poe die? Nobody really knows. There are many theories regarding what happened to the famous author and poet, but in the end, his exact cause of death on Oct. 7, 1849 remains a mystery.

Poe was a talented author and poet who displayed a romanticist view of the macabre. Though famous, he struggled to make ends meet throughout his life and, like many authors, his talents were not fully recognized until after his death.

Birth and Death
Edgar Allan Poe was born Jan. 19, 1809 in Boston. By 1810, Poe's parents had separated and his mother stayed with Poe and his siblings. In 1811, Poe's mother died. Poe was separated from his siblings and taken in by the Allan family, but he was never formally adopted.

Poe was found drifting in and out of consciousness in Baltimore on Oct. 3, 1849. He was taken to the hospital and never regained enough strength to comment on his condition before he died on Oct. 7, 1849.

Many rumors did, and still do, surround the exact cause of Poe's death. Rumors include alcoholism, fever, brain tumor, suicide, murder, tuberculosis and even rabies.

Other Interesting Facts

  • Marriage. Edgar Allan Poe married his cousin, Virginia Clemm, in 1836. Poe was 27 and Virginia was 13. Though people did marry young in the early 1800s, 13 years old was still seen as a shockingly young age for a bride. The couple lied on the official marriage certificate, listing Virginia's age as 21.
  • Poetry. Despite popular belief, Edgar Allan Poe wrote his most famous poem, The Raven, before his wife's death, not after. The sad poem is filled with longing for lost love and was an instant hit upon its 1845 publication. It is now known as one of the best poems in the history of American literature.
  • Short Stories. Edgar Allan Poe wrote mostly short stories and poetry. His most famous short is The Murders in the Rue Morgue, published in 1841. The dark tale of multiple murders is considered the father of the modern detective story.
  • Cryptography. Edgar Allan Poe was deeply interested by cryptography, the creation and translation of secret codes, and was very proud of his ability to translate them. He would challenge readers of various publications where he worked to send him codes to decipher and, by all accounts, he seemed able to unlock the secrets to any he received.
  • Charles Dickens. Edgar Allan Poe met Charles Dickens when Dickens was in the US on a lecture tour. Poe was still an up and coming author when he met with Dickens. Dickens was already well established and Poe requested his help in getting work published in England. Though promises were made, nothing came to fruition.
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Find articles about Edgar Allan Poe, including an Edgar Allan Poe Timeline, the works of Edgar Allan Poe, a biography of Edgar Allan Pow and an answer to the question of how did Edgar Allan Poe die.

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