Born: 1 August 1819
Died: 28 September 1891 (heart failure)
Birthplace: New York, New York
Best known as: The author of Moby-Dick
Herman Melville was the celebrated author of several big 19th-century novels about the sea. Moby-Dick (1851), the story of the fanatical Captain Ahab and his hunt for the great white whale of the title, is now considered one of the classics of American literature. Melville's other novels include Typee (1846), Omoo (1847), and Billy Budd (published posthumously in 1924). Melville published little after 1860 and it wasn't until the 1900s that he gained his reputation as one of early America's great authors.
Extra credit: Melville had a famous friendship with author Nathaniel Hawthorne, to whom he dedicated Moby-Dick... The 21st-century musician Moby is named in tribute to Melville... On film, Captain Ahab has been played by John Barrymore (1936), Gregory Peck (1956) and Patrick Stewart (1998, TV movie).
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