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Daly, Thomas Augustine (28 May 1871–04 October 1948), humorist, poet, and columnist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Anthony Daly and Anne Victoria Duckett, owners of the first Catholic bookstore in Philadelphia. He attended public schools and at age fourteen entered Villanova College, “majoring in cigarettes and baseball.” Daly dropped out in 1889 and completed two more years at St. John’s College (later Fordham University). In 1896 he married Nannie Barrett and settled in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. A 1910 ...

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Leland, Charles Godfrey (15 August 1824–20 March 1903), poet and journalist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Charles Leland, a prosperous commission merchant, and Charlotte Godfrey. Leland graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1845 and then studied abroad for three years at the Universities of Heidelberg and Munich and the Sorbonne. He manned the barricades in Paris for three days during the revolution of 1848....

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Marquis, Don (29 July 1878–29 December 1937), columnist, short-story writer, and poet, was born Donald Robert Perry Marquis in Walnut, Illinois, the son of James Stewart Marquis, a country physician, and Virginia Whitmore. He attended local schools, lived with his mother while she ran a boardinghouse in Chicago (1888–1889), and held various odd jobs (1893–1899) both before and after briefly attending Knox College (fall 1898)....

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Mason, Walt (04 May 1862–22 June 1939), poet, humorist, and journalist, was born in Columbia, Ontario, Canada, the son of John Mason, a wool dyer, and Lydia Campbell. Mason worked at his father’s woolen mill and as a farmhand during his boyhood and attended school only sporadically. He detested mathematics but later claimed to have memorized all the poetry in his readers. Orphaned by the age of fifteen, he moved to Port Hope, Ontario, where he worked for a year and a half at a hardware store, earned low wages, and met with little success. In 1880 he sailed across Lake Huron to upstate New York, where he again worked as a farm laborer, hoeing beans, “the poorest fun I ever struck.”...