William Shakespeare

Born in April 1564 in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England (about 100 miles north west of London). He was the oldest son of 8 children of Mary Arden and John Shakespeare, a tradesman and eventual elected official. He married Anne Hathaway in 1582 and had 3 children: Susanna (b. 1582) and twins Hamnet and Judith (b. 1585). By 1592, he arguably had a successful professional theatre career in London and by 1595 he was a lead member and shareholder of the prominent Lord Chamberlain’s Men, which became the King’s Men in 1603. Scholars speculate that Romeo and Juliet was written around 1595 and was his 12th play of an eventual 37, in addition to 150 sonnets and 2 lengthy narrative poems. His family remained in Stratford during his career, and he returned there in 1612 and died on April 23, 1616.