Samuel Johnson was born on September 18, 1709, in Lichfield, Staffordshire, England. He was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford, but had to leave before obtaining a degree due to a lack of funds. After a brief career in teaching, he left for London where he worked as a journalist, publishing poems, essays, biographies, and speeches. In 1755, he published his most influential work: A Dictionary of the English Language. The book made him one of England’s leading literary figures and earned him a masters of arts degree from Oxford University and, later, an honorary doctor of laws degree from Trinity College in Dublin.
Johnson died on December 13, 1784, in London. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.