Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 - March 26, 1892) is best known as a path-breaking poet and author of Leaves of Grass. He worked as a school teacher, printer, newspaper editor, journalist, and carpenter, before becoming a civil servant and volunteer visitor in Union Army hospitals in Washington, D.C. during the Civil War. As a freelance writer, Whitman penned a variety of poetry and prose, including essays, articles, reviews, fiction and nonfiction for the periodical press, speeches, and autobiographical works. The Library of Congress holds the largest number of Walt Whitman materials in the world, including drafts, notes, fragments, letters, poetry, and prose in the Charles E. Feinberg collection of Walt Whitman Papers and other collections in the Manuscript Division.