Herman Melville

American, 1819-1891

Herman Melville was born in New York City and spent much of his life in Massachusetts. Forced by necessity to find work after his father’s death, he spent five years of his youth aboard whaling vessels in the South Pacific. Those five years would influence his life an work more than any other. His 1851 novel Moby Dick is now indubitably included among the classics of American literature. For the last thirty years of his life, however, Melville was all but unknown. The centennial of his birth in 1919 sparked a revival of interest in his work, which led to the legendary status he holds today.