Edgar Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in a boardinghouse on Carver Street in Boston Massachusetts. His father deserted his family and his mother died of tuberculoses in 1811, orphaning Poe, his brother William Henry Leonard, and his sister Rosalie. Poe was taken in to the home of the Allans who had no children of their own. However Poe was never formally adopted he did take the Allans name then becoming Edgar Allan Poe. In 1826 Poe attended the University of Virginia for on semester but was forced to leave because the Allans would not pay his gambling and drinking debts. Afterward Poe ran away and joined the army claiming to be 22 when he was 18.
After he failed as an officers cadet Poe begged Allan to help him to be accepted to WestPoint Academy, however once there Poe was unhappy and did everything he could to be expelled. After his dismissal from WestPoint, Poe began his publishing efforts. In 1836 Poe married his cousin Virginia who was only thirteen while he was twenty-seven. On October 3, 1849, Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore delirious, “in great distress, and in need of immediate assistance”, according to the man who found him, Joseph W. Walker. He was taken to the Washington College Hospital, where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849, at 5:00 in the morning. Poe was never coherent long enough to explain how he came to be in his dire condition, and, oddly, was wearing clothes that were not his own. Poe is said to have repeatedly called out the name “Reynolds” on the night before his death, though it is unclear to whom he was referring. Some theories behind the mysterious death of Poe are delirium tremens, heart disease, epilepsy, syphilis, meningeal inflammation, cholera and rabies. Delirium tremens is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that involves sudden and severe mental or neurological changes. Epilepsy is a brain disorder involving repeated, spontaneous seizures of any type.