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Thomas Stearns Eliot was born on September 26 1888 in St Louis Missouri He was the seventh and last child of Henry Ware Eliot a brick manufacturer and Charlotte Eliot who was a talented poet in his own right Both parents were descendent from families in England that immigrated to Massachusetts in the seventeenth century William Greenleaf Eliot Eliots grandfather moved to St Louis after he graduated from Harvard in the 1830s There he became a Unitarian minister but the connection to New England was maintained through the familys summer home on the Atlantic coast in Gloucester Massachusetts During his childhood Eliot attended Miss Lockes Primary School and Smithy Academy in St Louis His first poems appeared in the Smith Academy Record in 1905 the year of his graduation In the year after that he attended Milton academy and then entered into Harvard University He frequently published in the Harvard Advocate and took courses with professors such as Paul Elmer More and Irving Babbitt In 1909 Eliot received his BA and stayed in Harvard to earn his masters degree in English literature which he received the following year The fall of 1910 is when he spent a year in Paris writing reading soaking up the atmosphere and attending classes at the Sorbonne When he returned to America he went back to Harvard to continue his studies in philosophy and also serve as a teaching assistant After being awarded a traveling fellowship for the year of 1914-1915 he had planed to study in Germany but the start of World War I forced him to leave the country early Eliot would find himself in England where he would spend the remaining years of his life In England he met Ezra Pound on September 22 1914 who would exert a great amount of influence into his work and his literary career The next year Eliot would marry Vivien Haigh-Wood on June 26 1915 after knowing each other
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