T. S. Eliot

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Thomas Stearns Eliot (September 26, 1888 - January 4, 1965), poet and literary critic.

Eliot was born into a prominent St. Louis family; the famous Chancellor of Washington University Tom Eliot was a 5th cousin. Eliot's major work shows few signs of St. Louis, but there was, in his youth, a Prufrock furniture store in town.

But T.S. Eliot made his life and literary career in Britain, following the curtailment of a tour of Germany by the outbreak of World War I.

He came to prominence with the publication of a poem, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock in 1915. His style was fresh and modernist, in stark contrast to much of the bucolic poetry of the time.

In 1922, the publication of The Waste Land became one of the principal examples of the new wave of poetry of the time.

Eliot's weakness is his excessive reliance on allusion, particularly to obscure Greek and Latin references that exclude the "average" reader.

His later work is largely religious in nature, and includes such works as Ash Wednesday and The Four Quartets.

In 1948, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.

His 1939 children's book of poetry, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, was the basis of the hit Broadway musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, "Cats".