Walt Whitman was born on Long Island, New York, in the year of 1819. By the age of eleven, he bid his formal education farewell and became a printer's apprentice. In 1835 Whitman became a free-lance writer, journey-man printer, and an editor. He was chosen as the editor of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle in 1846, but was dismissed after two years because of his sympathy towards the "free-soil" faction of the Democratic Party. In 1855, at his own personal expense, he published the first edition of Leaves of Grass. The book was a volume of 12 long poems, and although highly praised by Ralph Waldo Emerson, it received little more than confused silence from the fashionable literary world. Undeterred by the lack of success, Whitman continued to write, and by 1856 had added 20 new poems to Leaves of Grass. By 1860, and the third edition, the book had nearly tripled in size. Still, Whitman would continue to revise the book for the remainder of his life. Even after suffering a debilitating stroke in 1873, his passion for writing burned on. New editions of Leaves of Grass were published in the years of 1876, 1882, and 1892, which was the year of Whitman's death.

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