Victor Marie Hugo was born on Feb. 26, 1802, in the town of Besançon, France, and he died in Paris on May 22, 1885, at the age of 83. Hugo originally studied law before moving into a career in writing after being encouraged by his mother.
Although he is best known for his novels, especially "Les Misérables" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," Hugo also wrote a number of plays and books of poems as well. His first book of poems, entitled "Odes et poésies diverses," was published in 1821, which was also the year his mother died and when he married his wife, Adèle Foucher.
In 1843, Hugo took a break from releasing his work after his daughter and son-in-law tragically drowned. It was around this time that he began working on what would eventually become "Les Misérables," which would eventually be published in 1862 while he was living in exile in Brussels.
Hugo returned to France in 1870, but his remaining years were not so happy. He had two sons die between 1871 and 1873, and he became sick in 1878. When he finally died in 1885, Hugo's death was mourned across France, and he was given a hero's burial in the Pantheon.