View images of author Mark Twain in his signature white suit. Mark Twain is the penname of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, who was born in 1836 in Missouri. Twain is a celebrated American writer and humorist, often referred to as the father of American literature. A former steamboat captain, Twain’s depiction of life along the Mississippi in novels such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn made him a beloved American figure and a celebrity. His insightful humor and commentary, fiction and nonfiction writing, based on his travels and lecture series, garnered him international fame. Twain died in 1910.