Born in Huntington, Long Island, New York
Received very little formal schooling
Family moved to Brooklyn in 1823
1833-34- worked as printers helper, schoolteacher
1838-39- edited newspaper in Huntington
1839- for the first time began to read seriously in the classics of literature and philosophy; also became interested in politics
1841-48- a period of inner growth and development; served on the staffs of various New York newspapers and magazines; developed strong interest
1855- Leaves of Grass published (11 editions appeared, each one longer than last)
1863- unofficial Civil War nurse
1873- moved to Camden, New Jersey; became a partial invalid
1880s- became known as "the good gray poet"
by 1884- was a full invalid, a result of paralysis
Whitman was rejected by the common people, whose attention he sought, and he became most popular among revolutionaries and poets. He is hailed as the father of free verse.