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Sheldon Silverstein

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Sheldon Silverstein born on September 25, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois, United States, was an American author of literature for children, a poet, screenwriter, songwriter, composer and musician. In some of his works, he styled himself as Uncle Shelby. He won the Grammy Award for the Best Country Song.

Sheldon studied at the Roosevelt High School. This accomplished writer and producer lived for 2 decades in Rome and worked with notable and influential directors like Federico Fellini and Sergio Leone. He worked on the Edith Piaf Story in Paris with Claude Lelouche. For his series of surrealistic L.A Shorts, called ‘Midnight Movies’ he gained a cult while he was a student in college. Hazard Jack, Desire, The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Pumpkin Karver, Death Mask, Trapped, Angel and The Devil, The Killing Jar, Never on Friday and many more are his well known film credits.

Silverstein Sheldon is also accredited with turning a number of incomplete movies into finished movies. The many films he bought from Technicolor Rome, he finished and got sold all over the globe. ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’ and ‘The Giving Tree’ are two of Sheldon Silverstein’s well known books for children. ‘A Light in the Attic’ is also one of his poetry collections.

In 1950 he was enlisted in the US Army, after which he soon began to draw cartoons for magazines. However he gained national recognition for his work for the Playboy magazine from 1957 to mid 1970’s. At the same time he began exploring other areas of creativity including music and writing. As the 1970s began he ramped up his efforts in writing songs. Some of his popular songs include So Good to So Bad, One on the Way and A Boy Named Sue. Besides this he also wrote soundtracks for motion pictures. In the 1980s his output was minimal. Silverstein Sheldon died of a heart attack on May 10, 1999 at Key West, Florida, United States.

Walt Whitman

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Walt Whitman, also called ‘Bard of Democracy’ born in West Hills, New York, United States on May 31, 1819 was one of the most influential and published American writer and groundbreaking poet of the world. He was also a humanist, journalist and essayist. Whitman had great love for his country America and its democracy. As a humanist he was part of the transition between realism and transcendentalism and his work incorporates both views. His most popular poems include Song Of Myself, Leaves of Grass and O Captain! My Captain!.

In his family of 11, he was the second child. At age 12 he began working as a printer and discovered that he had great passion for literature. Being a voracious reader and self taught, he turned to a full time career in journalism at 17, in 1836 after he was left without a job. Long-Islander was the weekly newspaper he founded besides editing many New York and Brooklyn papers. He became editor of New Orleans Crescent in 1848 and witnessed how slavery was practiced in the city. With whatever he saw he was greatly repulsed and opposed this. All through his life he followed politics closely. In the fall of 1848 he returned to Brooklyn and founded the Brooklyn Freeman newspaper. Besides journalism Walt Whitman became absorbed in writing distinctive and uniquely styled poetry. ‘Leaves of Grass’ was his seminal work consisting of 12 sections. He finished this in 1855. Though during the time of publication, it was a considered to be a highly controversial book, in American literature, the book is a landmark now.

During his younger years Walt had to help out with income for the household. By 17 he began teaching, worked as educator and later he set his sights on journalism by 1841. He continued with newspaper career with a weekly called the ‘Long Islander’ and became editor of a prominent newspaper, the ‘Brooklyn Daily Eagle’ in 1846. With a sharp pen and as a volatile journalist, his opinions and of the bosses, didn’t align always. Also he was never afraid of going after other newspaper editors, due to which his reputation with other newspapers was tarnished and short-lived.

He died in Camden, New Jersey, United States on March 26, 1892 and was buried in the mausoleum he built in Camden’s Harleigh Cemetery. He had continued to work with Leaves of Grass right till the end. A year before he died, Good-Bye, My Fancy was published.