Masters, Edgar Lee, 1869–1950, American poet and biographer, b. Garnett, Kans. He maintained a successful law practice in Chicago from 1892 to 1920. Masters's Spoon River Anthology (1915), a collection of epitaphs in free verse revealing the secret lives of dead citizens, was acclaimed for its treatment of small-town American life. Less successful volumes that followed include Starved Rock (1919), Domesday Book (1920), Poems of People (1936), and Illinois Poems (1941). His Lincoln the Man (1931) is a bitter and prejudiced attack. Other biographies are Vachel Lindsay (1935), Whitman (1937), and Mark Twain (1938).
See his autobiography Across Spoon River (1936).