The poet of the decade
Sandburg was born in the three-room cottage at 313 East Third Street in Gales burg, Illinois, to parents of Swedish ancestry. At the age of thirteen he left school and began driving a milk wagon. From the age of about fourteen until he was seventeen or eighteen, he worked as a porter at the Union Hotel barbershop in Gales burg. After that he was on the milk route again for eighteen months. He then became a bricklayer and a farm laborer on the wheat plains of Kansas. After an interval spent at Lombard College in Gales burg, he became a hotel servant in Denver, then a coal-heaver in Omaha. He began his writing career as a journalist for the Chicago Daily News. Later he wrote poetry, history, biographies, novels, children's literature, and film reviews. Sandburg also collected and edited books of ballads and folklore. He spent most of his life in the Midwest before moving to North Carolina.Sandburg volunteered to go to the military and was stationed in Puerto Rico with the 6th Illinois Infantry during the Spanish–American War, disembarking at Guainía, Puerto Rico July 25, 1898. Sandburg was never actually called to battle. He attended West Point for just two weeks, before failing a mathematics
Sandburg returned to Gales burg and entered Lombard College, but left without a degree in 1903.
He moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and joined the Social Democratic Party, the name by which the Socialist Party of America was known in the state. Sandburg served as a secretary to Emil Seidel, socialist mayor of Milwaukee from 1910 to 1912.Sandburg met Lilian Steichen at the Social Democratic Party office in 1907, and they married the next year. Lilian's brother was the photographer Edward Steichen. Sandburg with his wife, whom he called Paula, raised three daughters.as a secretary to Emil Seidel, socialist mayor of Milwaukee from 1910 to 1912.
. Sandburg had his ashes interred under "Remembrance Rock", a 5-foot-high granite boulder located behind his birth house.
Sandburg supported the civil rights movement and contributed to the NAACP.