Ralph Waldo Emerson Biography

Ralph Waldo Emerson Biography

Childhood of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Born on 25 May 1803 to Ruth née Haskins and William Emerson (Unitarian minister) in the Puritan New England town of Boston, Ralph Waldo Emerson enjoyed a strict but loving upbringing in the house of a minister who expired when he was just eight years old. He was very close to his siblings, mother, and Aunt Mary Moody who had greatly influenced his intellectual upbringing.

Education of Ralph Waldo Emerson

After studying the classics at the Boston Latin School, Ralph Waldo Emerson graduated from Harvard College in 1821. He became teacher at his brother William's Boston’s school teaching young ladies. Emerson's first write up, "Thoughts on the Religion of the Middle Ages" came in 1822 in the Christian Disciple. In 1825, Ralph Waldo Emerson joined Harvard Divinity School which was the beginning of his strived to sustain his own traditional beliefs. "Divinity School Address" is one such piece of work.

Marriage of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson was appointed as the minister in the Second Church in Boston. He  married Ellen Louisa Tucker on 30 September, 1829, she expired of tuberculosis after a couple of years. Her death raised religious questioning and doubt in  Ralph Waldo Emerson. He remarried Lydia 'Lidian' Jackson on 14 September 1835 with whom he had four children: Waldo, Ellen, Edith, and Edward. The family settled in Concord, Massachusetts.

Career of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson quit his position in 1832 with the Church and went to Europe. His health was deteriorating and he was suggested to take rest. He visited Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, and philosophers Thomas Carlyle and John Stuart. He retained a prolonged correspondence with Thomas Carlyle and R.W. Emerson.

Controversial Lecture of Ralph Waldo Emerson

In 1838 Emerson made his controversial Divinity School Address at Harvard which earned him the label of an Atheist. In 1840 he started ‘The Dial with Margaret Fuller’ which was considered as the official publication of the Transcendentalists.

In 1844 Ralph Waldo Emerson started on a one year lecture trip of Europe for his collection of poetry - Poems (1847) which was published.  After returning, Emerson continued writing and lecturing his  students and fans.

Death of Ralph Waldo Emerson

At seventy-eight, Ralph Waldo Emerson suffered from cold due to rainy weather in England which was diagnosed as pneumonia. On 27 April 1882, Ralph Waldo Emerson died  at his home in Concord, Massachusetts.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Courage consists in the power of self-recovery.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Every artist was first an amateur.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Every wall is a door.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Little minds have little worries, big minds have no time for worries.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Make yourself necessary to somebody.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Nothing external to you has any power over you.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Solitude is impractical and yet society is fatal.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“The age of a woman doesn't mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“The highest revelation is that God is in every man”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Thou art to me a delicious torment.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“To be great is to be misunderstood.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“We are always getting ready to live, but never living”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“We are wiser than we know.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“We must be our own before we can be another's.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“What we seek we shall find; what we flee from flees from us.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“What you are comes to you”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes


Famous People Article Archive