BiographyLondon, England, UK
Born the eldest son and third child of James and Mary Defoe, Defoe received a very good education, as his father intended him to become a Presbyterian minister, but he chose to become a merchant instead. In 1684 he joined the army of the rebel Duke of Monmouth, but when the rebellion failed, Defoe was forced into semi-exile. He went bankrupt in 1692, and began writing professionally. He wrote a satirical pamphlet in 1703 called "The Shortest Way with the Dissenters", for which he was pilloried. Read more... and "Moll Flanders", both of which were great successes. Labeled a social historian for his interest in colonization, economics, and exploration, Defoe died of a lethargy in Cripplegate on 24 April 1731.