I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie. I can, but I won’t.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens,) 1835-1910
Best known by his pen name, Mark Twain, Clemens was a giant of American humor and letters. A Missouri native, he had brief careers as a miner and a river boat pilot before his short stories began to receive widespread notice. He was the keenest wit of his age. He wrote what many call the greatest of American novels, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). Through a series of bad investments he lost all of the money he made from his books and a good deal of his wife’s substantial inheritance, which motivated him to begin many years of international speaking tours. The money from these performances eventually overcame his debt and added to his fame. He was a friend and advisor to presidents, scholars, and scientists, Nicola Tesla chief among them. Born when Halley’s Comet was in the sky, he died, as he predicted, when it returned.