Who Were Ralph Waldo Emerson's Parents?


Quick Answer

The American Transcendentalist poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803, to housewife Ruth Haskins and William Emerson, a Boston clergyman. Though Emerson's father passed away when he was only 8 years old, he followed in William's footsteps, becoming an ordained Unitarian minister in 1829.

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Full Answer

Eventually, Emerson would leave the ministry to focus more time on writing and lecturing. However, his ideas about religion still heavily influenced his writing and were the underpinning of much of the philosophy of the transcendentalist movement that he, along with writers Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller and Amos Bronson Alcott, helped bring to prominence in 19th-century America.

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