Horatio Alger – 1832–1899
The son of a Unitarian minister, Alger graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Harvard University in 1852 and enrolled in Harvard Divinity School. He preached until 1866, when he was forced out of his Brewster (Massachusetts) pulpit by charges of sexual misconduct with local boys.
Alger fled to New York City and began writing books about desperately poor lads who, by virtue of hard work and courage—“pluck and luck”—rise to great wealth. During three decades, he wrote more than 100 enormously successful rags-to-riches novels purveying the profoundly influential mythology of anything-is-possible in America.