Walt Whitman is considered one of America's most important poets. His most famous book of poems, "Leaves of Grass," was published in 1855, and it is now one of the most famous works of English poetry in the world.
Whitman was born on May 31, 1819. He had eight brothers and sisters, and spent his childhood in Brooklyn and Long Island, N.Y. At the age of 12, Whitman became interested in poetry and literature. Some of his favorites were Shakespeare, Dante and the Bible. As an adult, he also worked as a printer, a teacher, and a journalist and clerk. He was never famous during his lifetime, and he often struggled financially. He died on March 26, 1892, in Camden, N.J.