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Carl August Sandburg was born in Galesburg Illinois on January 6 1878 His parents August and Clara Johnson were immigrants from Sweden After he encountered many August Johnsons in his job with the railroad Carls father decided to rename the family The Sandburgs were poor and as a result Carl had to quit school at the age of thirteen to drive a milk truck and deliver milk to help support the family At seventeen Carl Sandburg went to Kansas as a hobo During the eight months that he served in Puerto Rico for the Spanish American war he encountered a student from Lombard College now Knox College the college located in his hometown He was convinced to enroll there after the war At Lombard College Carl Sandburg wrote his first poems which attracted the attention of Professor Phillip Green Wright who encouraged the writing as well as paid for the publication of Sandburgs first volume of poetry in 1904 called Reckless Ecstasy Even though he attended Lombard College for four years he never received his degree although he did receive many honorary degrees later in his life After college Sandburg moved to Milwaukee and became a journalist There he met and married Lillian Steichen Earlier he had adopted many socialist views and in Wisconsin he had the chance to serve as the secretary to the first socialist mayor in Milwaukee from 1910 to 1912 After that he moved to Chicago and wrote for the Chicago Daily News and had his poems published in Poetry A Magazine of Verse The editor liked his distinctly different style of poetry and encouraged him to write more He became more widely known with the publishing of Chicago Poems in 1916 Cornhuskers was published in 1918 and then Smoke and Steel in 1920 When Sandburg was twenty he began collecting information for a biography of his childhood hero Abraham Lincoln He collected information for this project for 30 years While
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