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Horatio Alger, Jr.
Horatio Alger, Jr., the author of more than 100 inspirational books for young people from the Civil War to the turn of the 20th century, was born the son of a Unitarian minister on January 13, 1832. Rejected by the Union Army because of asthma, Horatio Alger was a poet, teacher and newspaper correspondent before he eventually followed in his father’s footsteps and became a minister on Cape Cod. Alger is best-known, however, for his books with rags-to-riches themes. In Alger’s world, everyone, no matter how poor or powerless, could succeed through hard work, honesty and high moral values. His ‘pluck and luck’ books of hope in the face of adversity were always bestsellers and almost every home, school and church owned a large collection. More than 250 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide.

Image: Horatio Alger Association