Don Marquis

(1878 - 1937)

Born in 1878 in Walnut, Illinois, the humorist, columnist, and novelist Don Marquis moved to New York City in 1909, after working at newspapers in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Washington, DC. He introduced the character of Archy, a free-verse poet reincarnated as a cockroach, in his New York Evening Sun column in 1916. Marquis claimed that Archy would relay his dispatches by jumping on the newsman’s typewriter keys and leaving the poems on his desk. In another column Archy mused, “One thing the human bean / never seems to / get into it is the / fact that humans / appear just as unnecessary to / cockroaches as cockroaches / do to humans.”

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