Born: 27 October 1914
Died: 9 November 1953
Birthplace: Swansea, Wales
Best known as: The Welsh poet who wrote Under Milk Wood
Writer Dylan Marlais Thomas famously drank himself to death at the age of 39 and left behind some of the most celebrated poems of the 20th century, including "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" (1952). Thomas grew up in Wales and left school at the age of 16. During his teen years he wrote numerous poems and had his first poem published in 1933. He made his London reputation with his first two collections, Eighteen Poems (1934) and Twenty-five Poems (1936). During his career Thomas also wrote short stories, film scripts and radio shows, including the "play for voices," Under Milk Wood, first performed in 1953 and published posthumously in 1954. He became internationally lauded for his lyrical poems, and became a celebrity for his entertaining public appearances and turbulent private life. It's been said he drank as hard as he worked, and while on a lecture tour in New York he collapsed after drinking heavily at the White Horse Tavern. He was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital and died several days later, on 9 November 1953.
Extra credit: Bob Dylan, whose real name is Robert Zimmerman, denies taking his stage name from Dylan Thomas.
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