Walt Whitman (1819 - 92) was an American poet, essayist, and humanist. He is one of the originators of free verse and is best known for his volume Leaves of Grass, an attempt at an American epic for the common man. Whitman worked as a typesetter, a journalist, a clerk for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and served as a volunteer nurse in the American Civil War. Later employed by the Attorney General's office, he interviewed Confederate soldiers who were being considered for pardons.
A gifted man of letters, Whitman is regarded as America’s greatest poet. He also enjoyed a successful career as an essayist and journalist. He served as an editor and contributor to various journals and also started a newspaper called “Brooklyn Freeman”.