Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)
Inducted - Wednesday, September 08, 1982
Where is Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) in the Hall of Famous Missourians?
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, or Mark Twain, as millions of readers have come to know him, was one of America's greatest writers and humorists. In 1865, Clemens’ first "big break" came with the publication of his short story, "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog" in papers across the country. A year later, Clemens was hired by the Sacramento Union to visit and report on the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii). Clemens’ writings were so popular that, upon his return, he embarked upon his first lecture tour, which established him as a successful stage performer.
He is best known for his two classic novels of boyhood life on the Mississippi River, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. His childhood home of Hannibal, Missouri, which inspired many of his literary creations, has become an attraction for thousands of tourists each year. Clemens took the writing pseudonym, Mark Twain, from riverboat jargon he learned during his years of piloting steamboats on the Mississippi.