(1709 - 1784)
Born to a bookseller in Staffordshire, Samuel Johnson spent just one year at Oxford before dropping out due to lack of funds. The subject of James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson, arguably the most important piece work in the field of biography, Johnson was plagued by physical and mental illnesses throughout most of his life. After suffering a stroke in 1783, he was unable to speak, and later in the year bedridden by gout. He died in December 1784 and is buried at Westminster Abbey.