Walter "Walt" Whitman (May 31, 1819 March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist well known in his time for his famous Leaves of Grass collection of poetry. A humanist, Whitman was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works, making him one of the most influential American poets in history. Known as the father of free verse, his work was very controversial in its time, described as obscene for its overt sexuality. Born on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, andin addition to publishing his poetrywas a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War. Early in his career, he also produced a temperance novel, Franklin Evans (1842). Whitman's major work, Leaves of Grass, was first published in 1855 with his own money. The work was an attempt at reaching out to the common person with an American epic. He continued expanding and revising it until his death in 1892. After a stroke towards the end of his life, he moved to Camden, New Jersey, where his health further declined. He died at age 72 and his funeral became a public spectacle. This edition of Whitmans Leaves of Grass is specially formatted with a Table of Contents and is illustrated with pictures of Whitman, his life and work.