1. Although born in Boston, Edgar Allan Poe was raised in Richmond, Virginia, and was a consummate Southern gentleman in the antebellum South.
2. Out of an early love for the military—and to get out of his foster father's house—Poe enlisted in the U.S. Army, without parental consent, and served for two years.
3. Devastated by the death of his foster mother—and as a swipe at his foster father—Poe got himself expelled from West Point.
4. At twenty-seven, he married his cousin, Virginia Clemm, who was thirteen at the time. Due to family objections, it was a secret ceremony.
5. Poe is considered the first professional American writer. His determination to make a living solely from his written work doomed him and his dependents to a life of poverty.
6. With a droll, deadpan sense of humor, Poe wrote several hoaxes so convincing that one ended up being reprinted as “fact” in the Congressional Record.
7. Poe was both the father of the modern detective story and an early author of science fiction. Crime detection was just another puzzle for him—and he was an expert cryptographer.
8. His death in Baltimore in 1849 remains mysterious to this day. When he was discovered, unconscious, he appeared to be wearing someone else's clothing.
9. A bad judge of character, Poe entrusted his literary legacy to a man who despised him. This enemy was almost single-handedly responsible for the public perception of Poe as a drug addict and madman.
10. After midnight on every January nineteenth since 1949, a mysterious figure has placed flowers on Poe's grave to commemorate the anniversary of the writer's birth.