William Dean Howells
was born in Martins Ferry, Ohio, on March 1, 1837. Between 1856 and 1861 he worked as a reporter for the Ohio State Journal. His campaign biography of Abraham Lincoln, compiled in 1860, led to a consulship at Venice from 1861 to 1865. In 1871 he became editor-in-chief of the Atlantic Magazine, where worked with many young writers, among them Mark Twain and Henry James, both of whom became close friends. His position as critic, writer, and enthusiastic exponent of the new realism earned William Dean Howells the respected title of Dean of American Letters. He died in 1920.