Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809. When he was just three, his actor parents died, leaving Poe to be raised by the Allan family in Virginia. A challenging youth may have contributed to his active imagination, for Poe took prose where it had never gone before. He died on October 7, 1849.
Some argue that he invented the detective story with "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841). Known also for his psychological thrillers, titles like "The Raven" (1845) and "The Tell-Tale Heart" 1843) have become a part of literary history as well. In late 2003,
Milton Meltzer's biography (cover shown at right) was published by 21st Century Books and recommended by Booklist: "More than most other biographers for young people, Meltzer places his subject within the framework of his society."