Born on November 30, 1835, sixth of the seven children, Samuel Clemens lived in the small town of Florida, Missouri. In 1939, the growing farming family migrated to the new town of Hannibal, Missouri along the banks of the Mississippi River. When Samuel's father suddenly passed away in 1847, he just finished up fifth grade and started to work as a printer's apprentice in their town at a local paper.
He continued with this job for the next 10 years across New York, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati before going back home in 1857 and decided to be a riverboat pilot. Due to the outbreak of Civil War, Clemens' pilot job ended and he headed West while taking up writing along the way. Soon he landed in San Francisco, and got his first "big break" with the publication of one of his short story entitled, "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog."
Take a look at this gallery that captures the rest of his amazing life...
Samuel Clemens during 1850 in Hannibal, Missouri. This first-known picture was a benefit afforded to him because of his job as a printer's apprentice. If you observe closely, you'll see the printed "SAM" letters on the small board that he is holding in his hand.
A young Mark Twain ca. 1855. His job as a printer in New York City had put together enough of a life to be able to return home two years later.
Samuel Clemens definitely loved to travel. He experienced both coasts of the U.S., then headed to Istanbul, Turkey in 1867. This picture shows his full head of wavy hair and mustache which would complete his facade for the rest of his life. He then started using the pen name "Mark Twain" around this time.
Mark Twain captured by Mathew Brady, February 7, 1871
Mark Twain writing another piece at his desk around 1880
Mark Twain in 1882. A photo of the white suit which has now become his trademark look.
The Clemens family savoring an afternoon together in Hartford, Connecticut, 1884.
Twain and his wife produced three daughters, Susy, Clara and Jean. This is another photograph of their time together in Connecticut.
Samuel Clemens during 1890.
Mark Twain at a stop in Great Falls, MT in 1895.
Mark Twain writing at his messy desk in 1901.
Mark Twain, with lifelong friend John Lewis. He was the inspiration for the character Jim in 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn', in 1903.
Mark Twain enjoying a relaxing day on a porch in New Hampshire, 1905.
Mark Twain's 70th Birthday celebration at Delmonico's in New York City in 1905. Twain, as an avid party-goer and host, enjoyed this event tremendously.
Samuel L. Clemens with one among his many kittens in Tuxedo Park, New York, 1907.
Mark Twain in Redding, CT in 1908
Mark Twain and some of his 32 cats in Redding, CT in 1908
Samuel Clemens aboard a Ship in 1909, a year before his passing.