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Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 - October 7, 1849) was born in Boston, Massachusetts to parents who were both actors. His father abandoned his family when Edgar was still an infant, and his mother died of tuberculosis a year later in 1811. He and his younger sister Rosalie were taken in by a man named John Allan, whose name Edgar incorporated into his name. John, who dealt in the trade of tobacco, wheat, slaves, and tombstones, never adopted him, but they both considered themselves of the same family. They moved from Virginia to Scotland, Britain, and finally back to Richmond, Virginia while Edgar was still young. Edgar became estranged from John Allan as well as his long-time girlfriend Sarah Royster, who is thought to have been the inspiration for "Annabel Lee" as well as "The Raven," due to his gambling problem and resultant debts. There were stories and rumors , as well as a biographical article about him, which claimed he was an addict, though it is now believed that he was not; he did have a drinking problem as well as his gambling problem. His first wife, Virginia, died of tuberculosis, and Edgar began once again to pursue Royster. On October 3, 1849, he was discovering wandering around Baltimore "in great distress" and wearing clothing that was not his own. He was taken to the hospital and died four days later. The circumstances which led up to his death, as well as the cause of death, are not clear.

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