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Washington Irving
Daguerreotype of Washington Irving
Daguerreotype of Washington Irving
Born (1783-04-03)April 3, 1783
New York City
Died November 28, 1859(1859-11-28) (agedĀ 76)
Tarrytown, New York
Literary movement Romanticism


Washington Irving was an American writer. He was born in New York City on April 3, 1783. He began his literary career writing humorous newspaper sketches. He edited magazines. He went to Europe on family matters as a young man. He remained there for 17 years. He served as the United States ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846. He wrote biographies. He regarded his 5-volume life of George Washington as his masterpiece. He died in his home, Sunnyside, at Tarrytown, New York on November 28, 1859.

Irving and his contemporary James Fenimore Cooper were America's first internationally acclaimed authors. Irving encouraged American authors and supported stronger copyright laws. He is best known today for two short stories: "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". They have been adapted to the stage, to television, and to animated and live-action movies.

The Chicago community area Irving Park is named after him.

Selected works

  • A History of New-York (1809)
  • The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (1819-20)
  • Bracebridge Hall (1822)
  • Tales of a Traveller (1824)
  • Tales of the Alhambra (1832)
  • The Life of George Washington (1855-59)

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