Washington Irving (1783-1859) was born in New York City, the youngest of 11 children. He became an author, essayist, poet, travel writer, biographer, and columnist and is renowned as the father of the American short story. He is best known for 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,' and 'Rip Van Winkle,' both of which appear in this collection. One of his greatest biographies includes The Life of George Washington (1855-59).
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