Mark Twain.
Mark Twain is one of America's most famous authors. He wrote many books, IV'I including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain's own life was interesting enough to be a book.
Twain was bom in 1835 in the state of Missouri, near the Mississippi River. He came from a poor family. His father died when he was twelve, so he had to leave school. While he was still a boy, he worked as a riverboat pilot. He steered boats up and down the long Mississippi River.
The Civil War, which started in 1861, made travelling on the Mississippi impossible.
Twain then went west to Nevada. There he worked on a newspaper. In 1864 he went to California to find gold. Twain did not have much luck as a gold miner. He left California to travel in Europe. Twain wrote a book about his trips around Europe.
But the most important influence on Twain and his books was the Mississippi River. When Twain finally settled down, he lived in a house with a porch that looked like the deck of a riverboat. Huckleberry Finn, Twain's greatest book, is about the adventures of a boy on the Mississippi River. Another of Twain's books is called Life on the Mississippi.
In fact, even the name Mark Twain comes from the Mississippi. Mark Twain's real name was Samuel Langhome Clemens. On the river Samuel Clemens often heard the boatmen shout "Mark twain!" This meant the water was twelve feet deep. When Samuel Clemens began to write he chose for himself the name Mark Twain.

Last Updated (Friday, 19 February 2010 15:41)