Famous People's Cause of Death Edgar Allan Poe
About the famous American writer Edgar Allan Poe, biography, history and cause of death.
POSTMORTEMS--WHAT THEY DIED FROM
EDGAR ALLAN POE
Born: Jan. 19, 1809
Died: Oct. 7, 1849
Cause of Death: Alcoholism
Physician's Notes: It is said of the brooding poet and author that he rarely smiled, and that no one ever heard him laugh aloud. He was racked all of his life by a serious Oedipus complex which rendered him incapable of having normal sex relations with a woman. He attended West Point, but at 21 appeared so old, frail, and sickly that there was a joke at the academy that Poe's stepfather had taken his place. His drinking began at 17 and, before robbing him of his life, it took away nearly every editorial job he ever held. Once, a heavy drinking bout caused him to miss an appointment with the president of the U.S. In 1849 he disappeared in Baltimore five days before the elections of Oct. 3. No one knows what happened, but it is strongly suspected that he went on a binge and in his stupor was enlisted as a "repeater" (one who voted fraudulently many times under assumed names) by goons working for corrupt politicians. Before that last election day binge, he had just joined the Temperance Society and had actually delivered several lectures which proved popular and profitable. On election day he was found semiconscious in a tavern. He lived four days in a state of delirium and finally died in mental agony, saying that the greatest thing his best friend could do would be to blow his brains out with a pistol. His last words were "Lord help my poor soul."
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