Famous Bipolar People


Edgar Poe was an American poet and literature critic. He was born on January 19th, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was known for his attempts to earn his living by writing alone, which was difficult at that time. Poe wrote and published several books and poems. His popular writings were along the lines of mystery and the macabre. He was also known to be part of the American Romantic Movement. Edgar started the detective fiction type of books. He also contributed a lot to the development of science fiction.

Edgar Poe moved to live with Frances Allan and her family after the early death of her mother. He enrolled at the University of Virginia but completed only one semester due to lack of money. He joined the Army but was not successful as an officer’s cadet. He wrote a set of poems as a starting point for his publishing career. He published a number of stories with a Philadelphia publication, after which he published a drama anthology, and a short story “MS. Found in a Bottle” for which he received an award. Later he was employed by the Southern Literacy Messenger as assistant editor. While working in this last company, Poe published The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.


Poe then moved to work for Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, once again as assistant editor after which later left for Graham’s Magazine with the same position, staying for only a year. He left to establish his own publication, The Journal which was never published. Poe also had another interest; cryptography. He requested ciphers from the public which he proceeded to solve.


Poe was suspected to have suffered bipolar disorder in the form of severe depression. He took to drinking while working for Southern Literacy Messenger, for which he was sacked. His drinking also intensified during the illness of his wife. He disassociated himself from other writers and accused them of plagiarizing his work. His poems always portray the theme of the death of a beautiful woman and this many writers suggested was because he could not overcome the death of his wife.

During his brief time study in the University of Virginia, Poe chose to live an extravagant lifestyle that could not be supported by his means of income resulting in him incurring a lot of debt. People with bipolar disorders are known to live such lifestyles to feel good about themselves and cover up their depression.


Though the exact cause of Poe’s death is unknown, he was believed to have died of congestion of the brain or cerebral inflammation, terms which were used to describe deaths from alcoholism. His continuous drinking could be due to depression which may be caused by his wife’s death.


Edgar secretly married his 13 year old cousin Virginia Clemm and on the marriage certificate, her age was given as 21. Poe dated Sarah Helen Whitman, a poet but their courtship did not last long as Poe continued to drink heavily. Poe went back to date Sarah Elmira Royster, his childhood friend.