Robert Lee Frost was much admired for his description of rural life in New England, his command of American informal speech, and his realistic poetry portraying ordinary people in everyday situations.
He was born on March 26, 1874 in San Francisco, California and
died on January 29, 1963 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Frost's father, William Prescott Frost, Jr., was a journalist with ambitions of establishing a career in California, and in 1873 he and his wife moved to San Francisco. Her husband's untimely death from tuberculosis in 1885 prompted Isabelle Moodie Frost to take her two children, Robert and Jeanie, to Lawrence, Massachusetts, where they were taken in by the children's paternal grandparents. While their mother taught at a variety of schools in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Robert and Jeanie grew up in Lawrence, and Robert graduated from high school in 1892. A top student in his class, he shared valedictorian honors with Elinor White, with whom he had already fallen in love.
Robert and Elinor shared an interest in poetry, but their continued education sent Robert to Dartmouth College and Elinor to St. Lawrence University. Meanwhile, Robert continued to work on the poetic career he had begun in a small way during high school; he was first published in 1894 when The Independent, a weekly literary journal, printed his poem "My Butterfly: An Elegy." Impatient with the academic world, Frost left Dartmouth after less than a year. He and Elinor married in 1895 but found life difficult, and the young poet supported them by teaching school and farming, with little success. During the next twelve years, six children were born, two of them died early, leaving a family of one son and three daughters. Frost continued his college education at Harvard University in 1897 but left after two years' study.