Mark Twain's Life

Lucy H-V Period 7


  • born on November 30, 1835
  • Born in Florida, Missouri
  • 6 of 7 children in his family
  • birth name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens
  • Parents were Jane Lampton and John Marshall Clemens

Early Childhood

  • When he was 4 he and his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri

  • Lived near the Mississippi river, this gave him material for his stories

  • Father died when he was 12 years old from pneumonia

  • Didn’t have a good education

  • His first step to being a writer was working as an apprentice for a printer after his father died


  • Liked to play “Hookie” , or skip school when he was a kid

  • When he was 13 he quit school to start working

  • Only in school untill the 5th grade

  • Never graduated or went to college

  • He knew even though he didn’t get a good education he could still educate himself through life experiences and reading at the library in the evenings


  • His apprenticeship led him to be hired by one of his older brothers as a typesetter for various newspapers and published his first story

  • In 1857 his career changed after he learned to be a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi

  • After the Civil War ended his career was not needed so, he then went back with his brother to Nevada where he accompanied him, since he was the secretary of that territory then

  • Later he returned to the newspaper world and wrote another story ( The Virginia City Territorial Enterprise)

  • In 1864 he moved to San Francisco, California still fulfilling his newspaper career, but also writing articles in the Californian, a literary magazine

  • Later he also wrote three other pieces of work


  • Grew up with 9 family member before his fathers death (2 sisters, 4 brothers, his mother and his father)

  • In 1858 his brother Henry died

  • Married Olivia Langdon on February 2, 1870

  • Had 3 children (1 son and 2 daughters)

  • When he grew up his family consisted of 19 cats at one period of time


  • When he was in Nevada he unsuccessfully prospected for gold and silver

  • Liked to do crossword puzzles

  • Was interested in going fishing

  • On Sundays he worked on scrapbooks

  • Loved to write in his bed


  • From his experience as a licensed river pilot, he chose the pen name by which he his best known - Mark Twain. The term “mark twain” means it is safe to sail

  • He loved cats

  • Was born right after Halley’s Comet appeared and the comet was scheduled to return in 1910. He told people in 1909

“I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet."

  • As he predicted, he died on April 21, 1910, of a heart attack, the day after Halley’s Comet made its closest pass. He was 74 years old

  • Published over 30 books in his career