#48 - Mark Twain

This week our bearded brother of history is famous American author Mark Twain.

He wasn’t bearded, per se, but he did rock a solid, classic mustache.

Born by the name Samuel Clemens, he grew up in Missouri during the mid 1800s, apprenticing as a printer, typesetter, and eventually a contributing writer to his older brother’s newspaper.

He even caught a bit of gold fever and headed west to Angels Camp in California with his brother. Mining ultimately never paid off for him and he returned east.

He wrote a story based on a story he heard in California, named “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, and it brought him international attention.

Critics praised his wit and satire and he became friends with many notable persons of the day. His writings made him wealthy, especially with the success of his novels “The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” became known as “The Great American Novels”.

Unfortunately, he ended up investing his money in losing ventures and lost most of it. One venture was for a mechanical typesetter that failed because it proved too complex and imprecise.

Ultimately, he filed for bankruptcy (but a friend helped him overcome these financial troubles).

Shortly before Twain was born, Halley’s Comet passed by Earth, and he predicted that he would “go out with it” also.

He was right.

He died one day after the next passing of Halley’s Comet.

RIP Mark Twain, may your mustache grow forever

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